John McKay: ``A runner must understand one thing about carrying a football -- it attracts a crowd.''
Terry Woodley, father of Saginaw, Mich., linebacking recruit LaMar Woodley, after listening to USC coach Pete Carroll's recruiting pitch: ``It sounded so good, I said, `Hey, I might sign up. I've got four years of eligibility remaining.' '' UUnfortunately for Carroll and USC, young Woodley chose Michigan.
McKay: ``Intensity is a lot of guys who run fast.''
John Wayne, standing in front of the Texas cheering section at a 1966 USC-Texas game in Austin, giving Longhorn fans a steady diet of Hook 'em Horns signs (index finger, little finger) but actually shouting: ``Up your ---, Up your ----.''
Bob Jensen, USC linebacker in the late 1960s, describing how he felt when he tackled O.J. Simpson during a ``gut-check'' scrimmage for Simpson in the spring of 1967: ``I figured I had must made the team.''
J.K. McKay, talking about his best friend, Pat Haden, who was a constant target of ribbing about his lack of height for a college and professional quarterback: ``I'd never say this in front of him, but he's the most well-rounded person I've ever met. As a friend, a father, a good guy and a good human being, you just can't beat him. (pause and a grin) If he were taller, he'd be perfect.''
McKay, after viewing a recruiting film that showed Santa Monica College lineman Gary Kirner as the sole player chasing a running back all the way down the field on a touchdown run, losing ground every step of the way: ``Get me that guy who's doing the chasing. That's the kind of guy I want on my football team.'' (Kirner became a star USC lineman and played six seasons with the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League).
College Hall of Fame lineman Blackjack Harry Smith, on the relationship of team members with taciturn coach Howard Jones, who won four national championships with the Trojans: ``You didn't talk to him, you played for him.''
McKay, the Monday after Notre Dame defeated the Trojans, 51-0, in 1966: ``My god, we've got to get some bigger guys. They (Fighting Irish) have guys with arms bigger than our guys' legs.''
McKay, after defeating Stanford, 30-21, at Palo Alto in 1972 and hearing racial insults hurled at star receiver Lynn Swann as the Trojans walked two blocks to their dressing room: ``I'd like to beat Stanford by 2,000 to nothing.''
Jack Christiansen, Stanford coach, asked to respond to what McKay had said: ``I'm not going to get into a ------- contest with a skunk.''
USC coach Pete Carroll, asked if he ever views films of a 41-38 loss to Texas in the BCS championship game at the Rose Bowl on Jan. 4, 2006: ``No, no, no. I can't stand to look at that film.''
Tailback Ricky Bell, the day before he debuted as USC tailback against Missouri in 1976: ``I'm scared to death. We've had to many great tailbacks at this school, I'm afraid I'll be a big flop.'' (Although USC lost, 46-25. Bell ran for a school-record 256 yards).
Anthony Davis, recalling coming out of the Coliseum locker room at halftime of the Notre Dame game in 1974 with the Trojans trailing, 24-6: ``I was late getting out of our locker room and the Notre Dame guys were right behind me. One of 'em shouted, `We're going to kick off to Anthony Davis and kick his ass.' No one had been kicking the ball to me all season, so I was surprised.'' The Fighting Irish were even more surprised when Davis returned the kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown that set off an explosion that led to a 55-24 USC triumph.
O.J. Simpson, recalling his reaction in the 1967 UCLA game to an audible call by quarterback Toby Page that changed a pass play to 23 Blast, a Simpson run. ``Man, I was tired and I remember thinking, `Toby, that's a horrible call.' '' Simpson ran 64 yards for a touchdown that gave USC a 21-20 victory and a national championship.
McKay: ``It's 3 to 1 I'm an SOB, but there are a lot of ones out there.''
McKay: Kickers are like horse manure. They're all over the place.''
McKay: After Notre Dame president Father Theodore Hesburgh said after USC's 55-24 triumph over the Fighting Irish: ``John, is that any way for a Catholic to treat a Notre Dame team?'' , to which McKay responded: ``Father, that's what you get for hiring a Presbyterian (Ara Parseghian).''