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USC’s Carson Palmer Named To 2021 College Football Hall Of Fame Class

Jan 11, 2021

LOS ANGELES — USC Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Carson Palmer has been named to the 13-member 2021 College Football Hall of Fame class.

He is the 45th inductee with USC ties in the College Football Hall of Fame, including 34 players. A Trojan has been elected into the Hall in 14 of the past 22 years.

Palmer will be inducted at a Dec. 7 dinner in New York City and then enshrined at the Hall in Atlanta.

His 2021 classmates include 10 other players—North Carolina offensive tackle Harris Barton, Arizona State defensive back David Fulcher, Miami (Fla.) linebacker Dan Morgan, Eastern Illinois quarterback Tony Romo, Texas defensive tackle Kenneth Sims, Clemson running back/kick returner C.J. Spiller, Kansas State running back Darren Sproles, Notre Dame offensive tackle Aaron Taylor, Iowa defensive end Andre Tippett and Tennessee linebacker Al Wilson—along with 2 coaches: Florida A&M's Rudy Hubbard and Oklahoma's Bob Stoops.

A 4-year starter (1998, 2000-02) at USC, Palmer set or tied 33 Pac-10 and USC total offense and passing records, including becoming the league's career leader in total offense (11,621 yards) and passing yards (11,818 yards).

As a senior in 2002, after a 21-year drought he became USC's fifth Heisman Trophy winner (and the first from the West Coast since 1981), as well as Troy's first quarterback winner ever. That year, the All-American first teamer (USC's first quarterback to do so since 1988) also won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (as the nation's top senior quarterback), the Pop Warner Award (as the top senior on the West Coast), The National Quarterback Club's National College Quarterback of the Year Award, the National Player of the Year by The Sporting News and, the Pac-10 Co-Offensive Player of the Year and USC's MVP and team captain.

In 2002, Palmer completed 309-of-489 passes (63.2%) for 3,942 yards and 33 TDs, all USC records. He threw for 300-plus yards in a USC-record 7 games that season, including 3 in a row, and completed at least 60.0% of his passes 9 times. He led USC to a share of the 2002 Pac-10 title and its first 11-win season since 1979.

He was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003.

Palmer was the No. 1 pick of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. He spent 15 years in the NFL, with the Bengals (2003-10), Oakland Raiders (2011-12) and Arizona Cardinals (2013-17). He was named to three Pro Bowls. In 2005 while earning AFC Player of the Year honors, he led the NFL in passing TDs (32) and completion percentage (67.8%) and guided the Bengals to their first winning season and playoff appearance in 15 years. He helped the Cardinals to the 2015 NFC Championship Game while throwing 35 TDs and was inducted into the Arizona Cardinals Ring of Honor in 2019. In his NFL career, he completed 3,941-of-6,307 passes (62.5%) for 46,247 yards and 294 touchdowns. He set numerous franchise passing records with the Bengals and Cardinals.

He established the Carson Palmer Foundation to assist abused and abandoned children. He has provided aid and support to organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Phoenix Children's Hospital. He and his wife, former USC women's soccer player Shaelyn Fernandes, recently pledged to make a $300,000 challenge gift for Compassion International's "Fill The Stadium" initiative, which provides essential food, medical care and support for children and their families during the coronavirus pandemic.

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