C.R. Roberts is most comfortable when he’s on the move. Even at 82, he defaults easily to his natural pose, weight shifted forward to the balls of his feet in a fighter’s stance.
Roberts wasn’t a boxer. He was a running back who sparred with the world around him. On this July afternoon, he walks across the second floor of USC’s Heritage Hall, trying to remember his greatest battle. It comes with a story that stayed buried in his memory for nearly six decades — at least the part he finds interesting.
Roberts’ mind, drifting from the effects of age and dementia, isn’t sparked by discussing the 1956 USC-Texas matchup in Austin. Sure, he ran the ball 12 times for 251 yards, a Trojans single-game record that stood for 20 years. But he doesn’t see the importance of that anymore.