Super Fan: Ranking favorite USC offensive linemen

11/27/2013 2:14 PM

11/27/2013 2:17 PM

There are not stats or places in the record books for offensive linemen. I will, however, offer my Top 5 USC OLs.

No. 1 on my list is George Schechterly (1978-80). A native of Berwick, Pa., George originally signed with Penn State in 1976 and was a second-team guard as a freshman. The next spring he was listed as the starting center for the varsity. But when he didn't pass some conditioning requirements when fall practice started, Coach Joe Paterno told him to, “go home, get in shape, and come back.”

He didn't go back, but instead enrolled at South Carolina, sat out a year and became a part of the offensive line that led George Rogers to the 1980 Heisman Trophy. George, in fact, accompanied Rogers to New York for the trophy presentation.

He played in the East-West Shrine Game and later in the Canadian Football League. Schechterly passed away in June 2010.

At No. 2 is Del Wilkes (1980-81, '83-'84). A native of Irmo, Wilkes began his career under coach Jim Carlen and finished it under coach Joe Morrison He was a member of the '84 Black Magic team that was the first in USC history to win 10 games.

In '84 he was a consensus All-American. He signed a free agent contract with the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but when that didn't work out he turned to professional wrestling, where he spent nine years under the ring names The Trooper and The Patriot.

No. 3 on the list is Travelle Wharton (2000-03). Travelle started 45 of the 47 games he played at left tackle for the Gamecocks. He did not allow a sack after the second game of his freshman season in 2000, a span of 45 contests. In 2003, as a senior, he started all 12 games at left tackle.

Wharton earned second-team All-Southeastern Conference recognition and was chosen to play in the Senior Bowl. He was a team captain and was the lone returning starter on the offensive line that allowed only 10 sacks the entire season as a senior.

A native of Simpsonville, Travelle was taken by the Carolina Panthers in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He is currently the starting left tackle for the Panthers.

No. 4 in my Top 5 is Mike McCabe (1973-75). A native of Knoxville, Tenn., he was a center for coach Paul Dietzel. He won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy and was drafted by Detroit in the 12th round of the NFL Draft. He returned to Columbia and is a successful banker.

Fans picked him for the Post WWII All-USC team. He was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.

No. 5 on my list is Dave DeCamilla (1968-70). Dave followed Dietzel from West Point to South Carolina, and he anchored the offensive line for the Gamecocks for three seasons, including the '69 season when Carolina won the ACC title.

Dave was named first-team All ACC in both 1969 and 1970, and he was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame this year.

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