How Sam Darnold became a USC quarterback – Orange County Register

LOS ANGELES — Mike Darnold noticed their glances.

Steve Sarkisian, Clay Helton and Marques Tuiasosopo were standing apart on Howard Jones Field, observing a high school quarterback named Sam Darnold complete one pass after another on a midweek day in late June 2014.

USC’s summer camp had turned into an audition for Darnold. The coaches took notice.

“I remember those guys looking toward each other,” said Mike, Sam’s dad, who watched from one sideline, “and thinking this is going well.”

Sam Darnold, who was entering his senior season at San Clemente High, needed to impress. USC had not yet offered him a scholarship, and he had a limited track record. He had played only 12 varsity games, with only five starts at quarterback. He missed most of his junior season because of a broken foot.

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