Charles White was one of the most accomplished running backs in the history of college football. He played for the University of Southern California (USC) Trojans from 1976 to 1979, where he set several schools and NCAA records. He was a two-time consensus All-American, and won the Heisman Trophy in 1979, considered one of the most prestigious awards in college football. He was also a member of USC’s national championship team in 1978.
White was known for his speed, quickness, and his ability to break long runs. He led the nation in rushing in 1979 with 2,050 yards and was the first USC player to rush for over 4,000 yards in his career. He was also a reliable receiver, catching 27 passes for 222 yards in 1979. His efforts helped the Trojans to the Rose Bowl and a National Championship win.
After college, White was selected in the first round of the 1980 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He played for the Browns for three seasons before retiring. In his NFL career, he rushed for 1,374 yards and 10 touchdowns and had 63 receptions for 544 yards and 1 touchdown.
White’s achievements at USC earned him a spot in the College Football Hall of Fame in 2007, and he is considered one of the greatest running backs in the history of college football.
Charles White was a versatile and dynamic running back at USC. He was known for his ability to make big plays, and his speed and quickness made him a threat to score every time he touched the ball. His vision, balance, and ability to cut through the defense were exceptional. He was a strong and powerful runner who could break tackles and gain yards after contact. He was also a reliable receiver out of the backfield. He had a great sense of timing, and his ability to run routes, catch the ball, and make quick moves made him a valuable asset to the team.
White had several memorable performances during his college career, including a legendary performance in the 1979 Rose Bowl against Ohio State, where he rushed for 247 yards and 3 touchdowns, leading USC to a 17-16 victory and the National Championship. He was named the Rose Bowl MVP for his efforts.
He was also known for his consistency, he rushed for over 100 yards in 33 of his 48 games at USC, and his 4,858 career rushing yards are still a USC record. He also holds the USC record for most rushing touchdowns in a season with 24 in 1979.
White’s success at USC and his Heisman Trophy win helped to pave the way for future African-American running backs. He was a trailblazer, and his performances were a source of inspiration for many young athletes. White’s USC career is considered one of the most remarkable in the history of college football, and his name is still remembered among the all-time greats of the sport.
Charles White, the Southern California tailback who won the Heisman Trophy in 1979, died Wednesday Jan 11, 2023. He was 64.