The Top 10 USC Trojan Quarterbacks of All Time
Ranked by career passing yards at USC.
The University of Southern California is one of the premier college football programs in the country.
The USC Trojans have had a lot of success on the football field, partly thanks to the exceptional quarterbacks they have had over the years.
Which quarterbacks make the top ten list for most passing yards at USC?
#10 — Brad Otton (5,359 career passing yards)
Brad Otton played at USC from 1994 through 1996. He was the starting quarterback for the Trojans from 1995 to 1996. Otton led the Trojans to a twelfth place finish in 1995. Brad Otton never played in the NFL and eventually opened a pizza restaurant that continues to grow today.
#9 — John David Booty (6,125 career passing yards)
John David Booty played at USC from 2003 through 2006. In 2005, Booty threw for over 3,000 yards and 29 touchdowns. He led the Trojans to two top-five finishes in 2005 and 2006 — winning the Rose Bowl in both seasons. After bouncing around NFL practice squads for a few seasons, John David Booty entered the business world. He is an executive VP for the VENTUS Group.
#8 — Sam Darnold (7,229 career passing yards)
Sam Darnold played for USC from 2015 through 2017. He never saw the field in 2015 but was the full-time starter in 2016 and 2017. Darnold led the Trojans to back-to-back double-digit winning seasons. Sam Darnold was drafted third overall by the New York Jets in the 2018 NFL draft. He is currently playing for the Carolina Panthers.
#7 — Kedon Slovis (7,576 career passing yards)
Kedon Slovis played for USC from 2019 through 2021. He had a fantastic freshman season in 2019 but struggled in the following two seasons. Slovis transferred from USC to the Pittsburgh Panthers following the 2021 college football season.
#6 — Rodney Peete (8,225 career passing yards)
Rodney Peete played for USC from 1985 through 1988. He was a three-year starter from 1986 to 1988. Peete’s senior season saw the Trojans finish at number seven in the final AP poll. Rodney Peete was drafted in the sixth round of the 1989 NFL draft by the Detriot Lions. He played in the NFL until 2004.
#5 — Rob Johnson (8,472 career passing yards)
Rob Johnson played at USC from 1991 through 1994. Johnson was a three-year starter for the Trojans. His best season was his junior year, when he threw 29 touchdowns and passed for over 3,600 yards. Rob Johnson was drafted in the fourth round of the 1995 NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. His NFL career lasted from 1995 through 2003.
#4 — Cody Kessler (10,339 career passing yards)
Cody Kessler played at USC from 2012 through 2015. He was a three-year starter for the Trojans from 2013 through 2015. Kessler threw 68 touchdowns during his junior and senior seasons. Cody Kessler was drafted in the third round of the 2016 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns. His NFL career lasted only three years, from 2016 to 2018.
#3 — Matt Leinart (10,693 career passing yards)
Matt Leinart played at USC from 2003 through 2005. Leinart was the starting quarterback all three seasons for the Trojans. Leinart led USC to two BCS National Championships in 2003 and 2004. Matt Leinart was drafted tenth overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2006 NFL draft. He was a starter for only one season and was out of the NFL after 2012.
#2 — Carson Palmer (11,818 career passing yards)
Carson Palmer played at USC from 1998 through 2002. Palmer was the starting quarterback during his final three seasons. He had a breakout year his senior season, throwing 33 touchdowns and nearly 4,000 yards. Carson Palmer was the first overall pick in the 2003 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Palmer was a three-time Pro-Bowler whose NFL career was somewhat limited by injuries.
#1 — Matt Barkley (12,327 career passing yards)
Matt Barkley played at USC from 2009 through 2012. He was a four-year starter for the Trojans. Barkley threw 116 touchdowns during his college career. Matt Barkley was drafted in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. Barkley was mainly a backup during his NFL career from 2013 through 2020.
Which quarterback on this list do you think was the best USC Trojan?
Stats from sports-reference.com