USC Great Charles White Passes Away

Charles White, perhaps the greatest tailback in USC history, died today of cancer. He was 64.

White won a national title, a Heisman Trophy, was a two-time unanimous All-American, won two Rose Bowl MVPs and is the all-time leading rusher in USC history (6,245 yards).

He also won the Walter Camp, Maxwell and Pop Warner Awards after his senior season.

White was the 27th overall pick in the 1980 draft by the Cleveland Browns, and spent five years with the Browns. He joined the Rams in 1985 and played four more seasons under John Robinson, finishing his NFL career with 3,075 yards rushing.

White ran for a career-high 1,374 yds and 11 touchdowns for the Rams in 1987.

28 thoughts on “USC Great Charles White Passes Away

  1. John Robinson once called him the toughest man he ever coached. Charlie White was an amazing athlete. I remember being a high school player and seeing him on the cover of a prep magazine. One of the kids on our team made it to an all star game with him in it and he said he never saw anyone hit the hole as fast as he did.
    Forever grateful for everything he did, he’ll always be in our hearts

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Respect to Charles White. Shout out to all the players who represented San Fernando High and the east Valley teams. Papa Joe passed away from Golden Bears not too long ago. Fewer kids going out for football these days and not too many kids being taught about the local heroes like Charles White from their neighborhoods. USC, do the right thing by Charles.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. There’s nothing funny for me to say. I loved seeing him running smoothly through the line. He was mobile and had great vision on the field. Some claim his personal life was messed up, but who in the world are we to judge? As far as I’m concerned he was one the best.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Wow, CW passes @ 64; that’s way to young. My introduction to CW, if memory serves correctly, was in the ’77 RB vs Michigan.

    I, of course, had loot on Michigan. Ricky Bell, the starting Trojan tailback was hurt in the 1st quarter and did not return. This situation gave me added confidence I would be spending a $100.00 in winnings.

    Unfortunately, CW replaced the injured Bell and rushed for 114 tough yds. in SUCC’s 14 – 6 RB victory. With out White’s superior rushing performance, I might have spent that $100.00.

    My sincere condolences to the White family. It’s a shock that the rugged H/T winner CW, passed so young.

    #Cue: The Melodians “Rivers of Babylon”

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I remember riding the elevator down from my room at Webb Tower and there was CW with a big straw hat waiting to get in the elevator. When I continued to walk out toward the street there was a nice Mercedes convertible with license plates “CW 12” parked at the curb. He was a super nice guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Charles White was so physically tough, that I thought he resembled a tireless machine. At 5”11 185 lbs he would bounce off linebackers over, and over again, then break off a 30 yard run. He was definitely one of the best I’ve ever seen.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Scooter,

    I played at Loyola and graduated the same year as Charles White. We had a running back named Freddie Brown who’s dad was Mr. Universe. Freddie was built like his dad. Not only that, he had muscles and not an ounce of fat on him. He ran 4.4, was around 5’8″ and weighed around 170 lb. he too was tough as nails and could hit the hole faster than greased lightining. We ran the veer offense because of him and Gordy Banks who played at Stanford and then with the Cowboys and Chargers. He blocked the extra point for stanford when Elway’s team tied SC back in 78. Brown went to SC but never played. You had the rb from Bosco that did sign with SC but was killed on the 101 fwy that summer. I always thought that Brown was equal to White. We had wanted to play San Fernando High because they were undefeated and they ran the wishbone. They had Kevin White and Moore on that team and they all went to SC. We could not play them because we were CIF and they were City League. I keep wondering if Brown would have played at SC along with White, who would have started and played. If that would have happened, SC could have run the veer.

    I remember seeing him run against ND, ohio st., michigan, and cal. he deserved two heismans. May God let him play for mckay right now. What a loss. May he RIP.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love Charles White but cut it out with that greatest of all time crap. Over Rickey Bell? Over Marcus? Jaguar Jon? OJ? Louis Zamperini? With all respect deserved, he ain’t the GOAT for SC.


  9. Charles and Billy Sims were so close for those 2 Heismans – both could have gone either way. CW was a winner as evidenced by graduating with a degree in Speech Communications but his running style that we all fondly recall dug him an early grave.


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