Willie McGinest: USC players shouldn't wear No. 55 on offense

Willie McGinest is one of the linebackers that made the No. 55 iconic at USC, and he's taking a stand when it comes to his number.

'USC is all about tradition," Willie McGinest said at USC's spring game on Saturday. 'To put (No. 55) on represents something.'

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LOS ANGELES -- The No. 55 is a privilege at USC. Not just a privilege, but a defensive privilege.

Former USC All-American and three-time Super Bowl champion Willie McGinest made that clear Saturday as he checked on his alma mater during their annual spring game.

McGinest was interviewed while standing on the sidelines during the game when the No. 55 was brought up. He explained that he was shocked an offensive player was wearing the number.

"We got to have some meetings and conversations about that," McGinest said.

The number was issued to true freshman offensive guard Toa Lobendahn -- an early enrollee who through the course of the spring has inserted himself into the first group on the offensive line.

Still, McGinest believes it's a linebacker number.

"USC is all about tradition," McGinest said. "To put that on represents something."

The former Trojan had the number passed on to him from the late Junior Seau. He went on to wear the number for his entire USC career and throughout his NFL career as well.

"Junior is the godfather, to me, of that number and he is the reason I wore 55," McGinest said.

USC offense struggles in redzone during Spring Game

Kelvin Kuo / USA TODAY Sports

Following the spring game, USC head coach Steve Sarkisian was asked about the number as well as McGinest's comments.

"It's a little bit of a miscommunication," Sarkisian replied. "I probably dropped the ball there, so we'll fix it."

Asked if the No. 55 will continue to be worn by an offensive player, Sarkisian responded "probably not."

"It's a great number and it's a historical number," Sarkisian said. "A lot of great players have worn that number and hopefully as we move forward we continue to have great players to put that number on.

"It's a great deal of respect to guys like Junior and Willie and Chris Claiborne and Keith Rivers, all of those guys. A lot of great guys have worn it."

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