This might be the most poignant Playboy All-American team ever: 1976. It features USC tailback Ricky Bell (42), who led the nation in rushing in 1975 (1,875 yards) and gained 347 yards in a game against Washington State in 1976. His life ended tragically in 1984 at the age of 29 from heart failure caused by of dermatomyositis.
Cal quarterback Joe Roth (12) is right behind Bell and probably the most iconic player in Bears’ history. Roth entered the 1976 season as a Heisman Trophy favorite but during the season suffered a recurrence of melanoma. He died shortly after the season at the age of 21 in 1977.
The other Trojan in the photo is offensive tackle Marvin Powell (76), the only player to make the College Football Hall of Fame but not the USC Hall of Fame. The defense below features USC defensive lineman Gary Jeter (79).
Pictures and complete lineups after the jump:
Left to right, top to bottom: Bob Lingenfelter (70), lineman, Nebraska; Don Hasselbeck (89), tight end, Colorado; Joel Parrish (67), lineman, Georgia; Mike Vaughn (79), lineman, Oklahoma; Tom Osborne, Coach of the Year, Nebraska; Rob Lytle (41), runner, Michigan; Marvin Powell (76), offensive tackle, USC; Joe Roth (12), quarterback, California; Larry Seivers (89), receiver, Tennessee; Tony Dorsett (33), runner, Pittsburgh; Dan Beaver (3), kicker, Illinois; Ricky Bell (42), tailback, USC; Leo Tierney (62), center, Georgia Tec
Left to right, top to bottom: Ross Browner (89), lineman, Notre Dame; Bob Baumhower (91), lineman, Alabama; Phillip Dokes (91), lineman, Oklahoma St,; Gary Green (43), defensive back, Baylor; Stan Black (36), defensive back, Mississippi St.; Mike Fultz (72), linebacker, Nebraska; Gary Jeter (79), defensive lineman, USC; Kim Rowekamp (43), linebacker, Michigan St.; Robert Jackson (55), linebacker, Texas A&M; Brian Ruff (51), linebacker, Texas A&M; Brian Ruff (51), linebacker, The Citadel; Lester Hayes (82), defensive back, Texas A&M; Gavin Hedrick (46), punter, Wash. State.