If one recalls that the Trojans' nickname came from the most notorious losing squad in history, their recent play—11 straight losses to Notre Dame, three in a row to UCLA, one 100-yard outing by a tailback last year—doesn't seem so bad. Still....
"We got our butts kicked," says John Robinson (page 48) of the first year of his second stint as USC coach. "I remember walking off the held last season thinking, Why aren't we pushing people around the way we were pushed around today?"
This fall Robinson welcomes 20 high school and junior college All-Americas. The sole purpose of many of them is to pillage. Says one, Israel Ifeanyi, a 6'5", 250-pound linebacker: "I'm capable of the worst evil you can think of."
Born and raised in Nigeria, Ifeanyi spotted a magazine photo eight years ago of what he calls "a football warrior" and decided that was for him. He came to the U.S. five years later and played his first organized ball at Orange Coast Community College, 50 miles from USC. Now, as he takes over for All-America Willie McGinest, he admits to but one weakness: Baskin-Robbins. "My favorite flavor is Quarterback Crunch," he says.
One of the new arrivals on offense is Keyshawn Johnson, a 6'4", 205-pound wide receiver who will try to replace All-America Johnnie Morton. Johnson began attending Trojan practices at age seven, in 1979. "My home was on 37th Street, less than half a mile from campus," says Johnson. "I used to go to the training table with Ronnie Lott and Marcus Allen. Used to sleep over at Dennis Thurman's apartment. He's back [as a secondary coach). Coach Robinson's back. Now I'm back."
As is the winning tradition of Troy.