17. Carson Palmer (2002)
Carson Palmer completed his roller coaster-ride of a career at the University of Southern California by going from one of the most decorated college football recruits in the nation, to a lightning rod for the Trojans’ continued underperformance, to the rock on which Pete Carroll rebuilt the USC program.
In 2002, during his final season in Troy, Palmer threw for 3,942 yards and 33 touchdowns, leading the team to an Orange Bowl win that following January. looking every bit like the prodigious quarterback everyone had projected him to be years prior. He became the fifth player and first quarterback in program history to win the award.