Orenthal James “O.J.” White, known to many simply as “Juice,” was a legendary running back for the USC Trojans and a successful NFL player. Despite his untimely death from cancer on January 11, 2023, White remains the Trojans’ all-time leading rusher with 6,245 yards, a record that still stands today.

White was born and raised in Los Angeles and was a standout running back at San Fernando High School. He was heavily recruited by colleges across the country but ultimately decided to stay close to home and attend USC. It was a decision that would prove to be a wise one as White quickly established himself as one of the best running backs in college football.

In his freshman year, White quickly made an impact on the field, earning playing time as a backup and showing flashes of the talent that would make him a star. As a sophomore, he took over as the starter and rushed for 1,114 yards and 10 touchdowns, earning him All-Pac-8 honors.

White’s junior season was even better, as he rushed for 1,527 yards and 14 touchdowns, leading the Trojans to a national championship and earning him All-American honors. But it was his senior season in 1979 that cemented White’s place in college football history. He rushed for a staggering 2,050 yards and 17 touchdowns, leading the nation in rushing and earning him the Heisman Trophy. White also won the Walter Camp, Maxwell, and Pop Warner awards, becoming the first player in USC history to win all three.

White’s impressive college career earned him a spot in the NFL, where he was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the first round of the 1980 draft. He spent nine seasons in the NFL, playing for the Rams, the San Diego Chargers and the Seattle Seahawks. While he never quite replicated the success he had in college, he still had a solid career and proved to be a valuable asset to his teams.

White’s death in 2021 was a loss felt by many, including his former head coach at USC, John Robinson. Robinson remembered White as the toughest player he ever coached and a gifted athlete who loved playing the game.

White’s legacy lives on at USC, where his name and number are honored in the Coliseum and his record for most career rushing yards still stands to this day. He remains one of the greatest running backs in USC history and will always be remembered as a Trojan legend.

White’s life and career were not just about football, He was a role model for many and always tried to give back to the community. He was heavily involved in charity work and often used his platform as a professional athlete to raise awareness for important issues.

White’s death was a huge loss to the football community, but his legacy will continue to live on through the countless lives he impacted during his time on earth. He will always be remembered as one of the greatest running backs in USC history and a true Trojan legend.

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