College football: USC produced the most All-Americans in past 75 years
Southern Cal’s storied history of college football dominance can be summed up by the great play of its athletes. Over the last 75 years of the existence of the All-American team, USC has had 62 players named to the prestigious list, the highest in all of college football.
Members of the Football Writers Association of America, comprised of journalists, broadcasters, publicists and football executives, have picked the best offensive, defense and special teams players since the inception of the All-American team in 1944, and it is regarded as one of the best ways to measure the most impactful players in college football.
While USC holds the crown thanks to a few long stretches of success, the next four teams are all within six players of the Trojans' mark. Oklahoma (62), Ohio State (60), Texas (57) and Notre Dame (56) have all produced top-tier talent in multiple positions as well.
Check out the full database of every All-American since 1944. The interactive chart displays the All-Americans by position, state, school and hometown.
1. Penn State is often referred to as “Linebacker U” by pundits and former players, but the Nittany Lions’ grasp of that moniker has diminished in recent years. While Penn State still boasts the most All-American linebackers with 10, teams like Alabama and Ohio State are right behind the Nittany Lions with eight each. Looking further, Alabama and Ohio State have more recent success at linebacker, as four of the Crimson Tide’s and three of the Buckeyes' All-Americans played in last decade, while only one of Penn State’s has played since 2005.
2. BYU has the most All-American quarterbacks on the list, but the last Cougar to claim that honor was Ty Detmer in 2001. Texas, meanwhile, has the most recent string of successful college quarterbacks, as Colt McCoy and Vince Young both earned All-America accolades in the last decade.
3. Notre Dame owns the title of “Running Back U,” as the Fighting Irish have 16 rushers named to the All-American list over the past 75 years. Thanks to a string of successful running backs in the 1940s and 50s, Notre Dame beat out Oklahoma, who has 12, including three in the last decade.
4. Texas is far and above the best breeding ground for All-Americans. Between the hot spots of Dallas (22) and Houston (22), 206 All-Americans hail from the Lone Star State. The next closest state, California, has 182 and Ohio has 117. Los Angeles, however, produced the most All-Americans with 23, slightly edging Dallas and Houston.
5. The United States isn’t the only birthplace of great football players. Players have come from countries like Germany, Australia, Mexico, Canada, Argentina and even Iran to make meaningful contributions in college football. Three Australians have earned All-American honors: two punters and one kicker.