A Trojan great was nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
Before Junior Seau spent 12 years with the San Diego Chargers and his final NFL seasons split between Miami and New England, he donned the No. 55 cardinal and gold jersey.
While at USC, Seau became a terror on opposing offenses. In his All-American 1989 season, he finished with 19 sacks and 27 tackles for loss, earning him Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Junior Seau, an Oceanside, Calif. native, then was selected in the first round by his hometown San Diego Chargers and went on to an illustrious NFL career. He became identified as the heart and soul of the Chargers defense. For 13 years, he was in the middle of all the action in San Diego, missing only eight games over the 13-year period.
During his time with the Chargers, Seau averaged 99 tackles per season, collected 47 sacks, grabbed 15 interceptions, forced 11 fumbles and recovered another 16, including one he returned for a touchdown in 1995. Seau was named to the Pro Bowl 12 times and was a first-team All-Pro six times.
Seau spent three seasons with the Miami Dolphins before spending the final four with the New England Patriots and retiring at the age of 40. He always was a jovial person when seen in public, but in May 2012, Seau took his own life, shooting himself in the chest.
It seems like a foregone conclusion that Junior Seau will eventually end up in the NFL's Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he earned his first nomination this season, joining 112 other nominees. The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will whittled down the list of nominees to 25 semifinalists in November and 15 finalists in January. Then on the day before the Super Bowl, the committee will elect between four and eight new members.
Seau joins fellow USC Trojans offensive lineman Tony Boselli and safety Tim McDonald Sr. as Pro Football Hall of Fame nominees on the ballot. There also is another nominee with an interesting USC link -- Greg Townsend Sr., the father of current USC defensive end Greg Townsend Jr., is also nominated.