Carson Palmer, USC’s Newest College Football Hall Of Fame Inductee, To Be Honored At Oct. 9 Utah Game
LOS ANGELES — USC's newest member of the College Football Hall of Fame, 2002 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Carson Palmer, will return to the Coliseum and be honored with an on-field salute at the Trojans' Oct. 9 game against Utah.
Palmer will be presented with a framed Hall of Fame plaque during the break between the first and second quarters. Throughout the game, Palmer's USC highlights will be shown on the Coliseum videoboard. He also will lead the Trojan football team out of the tunnel prior to the start of the game.
"It's special for me anytime I get a chance to come back to USC because I didn't get to do that much when I was playing in the NFL," said Palmer. "When I ran out of the Coliseum tunnel at the end of the 2016 season when I was with the Cardinals playing the Rams, I thought that would be the last time I would get to do that. I'm so excited to be able to do it again this year and to have my family there as well as the great Trojan fans and many of the people who were so important to me during my USC days.
"I know I'll have a rush of emotions leading my alma mater out to play a key Pac-12 football game against a Utah team that always plays us tough. And it will be humbling to be honored in front of the Trojan Family for my College Football Hall of Fame induction."
In January, Palmer was 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 Las Vegas and then enshrined at the Hall in Atlanta.
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 CNNSI.com, 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.