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Sam Darnold. Photo: Steve Breazeale
Sam Darnold. Photo: Steve Breazeale

By Steve Breazeale

Reporters, camera crews and coaches have been swarming San Clemente High School quarterback Sam Darnold since he set foot in Beaverton, Ore. to compete in the high-profile Elite 11 Finals quarterback competition as part of The Opening. The soon to be senior quarterback has quickly risen up the ranks and is now one of the more sought after uncommitted collegiate football prospects in the nation.

Darnold has been competing against the likes of Josh Rosen, the consensus No. 1 overall quarterback prospect in the nation, Alabama commit Blake Barnett and USC commit Ricky Town. Add in the fact ESPN has been broadcasting the event on television and it can make for quite the pressure cooker. But Darnold says he has not been fazed by the media circus going on around him.

“There’s a lot of pressure obviously. The hardest part is competing with these guys. But that raises my intensity and level of competitiveness,” Darnold said. “I’ve been giving it my best and that’s all you can ask for.”

Darnold indicated that he will likely make his decision on where he will attend college in the upcoming weeks, following the end of the Elite 11 Finals on July 10.

“I’m probably going to feel (my college choice) out for a little longer. But it will definitely be before the start of season,” Darnold said.

Darnold currently has 13 official offers, which include Utah, USC, Oregon and Northwestern.



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