There have been seven football players from the University of Southern California (USC) Trojans who have won the Heisman Trophy. The seven football players that have won the seven Heisman awards are as follows:
- Mike Garrett, a halfback, won in 1965
- O.J. Simpson, a tailback, received the award in 1968
- Charles White, a running back, accepted the honor in 1979
- Marcus Allen in 1981 became the fourth running back from USC to win the award
- Carson Palmer was the first quarterback for the Trojans to win the award when he accepted it in 2002
- Matt Leinart played quarterback for the University of Southern California and received the Heisman award in 2004
- Reggie Bush in 2005 was named the fifth USC running back to take home the award
With a total of seven Heisman Trophies produced by Southern Cal the institution of higher learning based in Los Angeles, California is tied for the most received by any school. Both the University of Notre Dame and Ohio State University each match the impressive number of seven trophies by a single school. Because Ohio State has the distinction of producing the only two time winner in Archie Griffin Notre Dame and the University of Southern California actually stand together as the only two colleges to produce seven different winners.
The Heisman Trophy is named after football pioneer John Heisman and was first bestowed upon Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago in 1935. Over the decades the award has become widely accepted as the most highly touted and prestigious individual accolade in the sport of college football. Despite the association of the Heisman being given to the most outstanding college football player, winning the honor has proved to be no guarantee of professional success.
In terms of the seven Trojans players who have had the honor of winning the Heisman Trophy two of those men transitioned from college football to the National Football League (NFL) as the number one overall picks of the NFL Draft in their respective years. The two players chosen with the first pick of the first round in NFL Drafts are Orenthal James (O.J.) Simpson who was taken by the Buffalo Bills in 1969 and Carson Palmer who was selected with the first pick of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Despite slipping to the number 10 overall pick by the Los Angeles Raiders in 1982 Marcus Allen joined O.J. Simpson in 2003 as the only two former USC players to win Heisman Trophies and be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.