The USC Trojans football program has lost a legend, as former Heisman Trophy-winning halfback Charles White has died at the age of 64, according to the Associated Press.
The former Cleveland Browns first-round pick died of cancer, reports the Press. White, the Heisman Trophy winner in 1979 after a magical, 2050-yard, 19-touchdown season, left USC Football as the program’s leading rusher, a mark that still stands today.
White’s Trojans career was not only a successful one from an individual standpoint, but also from a team perspective as well, as the team secured the National Championship in 1978.
Charles White’s former USC football head coach, John Robinson, said that “he was the toughest player he’s ever coached.”
The Los Angeles native was selected with the 27th pick in the first round of the 1980 NFL Draft by the Browns.
White spent five seasons in Cleveland, managing one year with more than 300 rushing yards before being released from the team in 1985.
Ironically enough, White landed with the Los Angeles Rams, who were coached by his former USC football head coach Robinson.
It was with the Rams where Charles White enjoyed the most NFL success, as he took the league by storm in the 1987 season.
The Rams leaned on him for a career-high 324 carries and he answered the call, leading the NFL in rushing yards with 1,374, adding 11 scores on the ground.
Charles White was named the league’s Comeback Player of the Year, while also being named an All-Pro and a Pro Bowler.
After retiring, White returned to his alma mater, coaching USC football’s running backs under Robinson, who had also returned to the program.
Charles White was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time.