The No. 5 jersey has not been worn at USC since 2005, when tailback Reggie Bush won the Heisman Trophy.
USC retires jersey numbers of Heisman winners, but Bush ultimately forfeited the Heisman in the aftermath of NCAA sanctions imposed against USC.
Coach Steve Sarkisian said that, “regardless of what happened off the field,” he regarded Bush as one of greatest and hardest-working players in college football history.
Adoree’ Jackson had requested No. 5 when he arrived last season as a freshman, but he instead wears No. 2.
No players will wear No. 5 this season, but Sarkisian indicated it was not off the table in the future.
“I don’t know. We probably can,” he said. “I just don’t know who really wants it. Quite honestly, that’s a lot to ask for.
“Do you want to live up to that? ... That’s a lot to put on your own shoulders to accept. It all sounds good, right, in the recruiting process until the reality of actually coming down that tunnel and wearing that number. Those are lofty expectations.”