By Zach Cavanagh
Former San Clemente High School quarterback Sam Darnold threw at USC’s Pro Day on Wednesday morning as part of a showcase for NFL owners, general managers and front office personnel to evaluate prospects for the upcoming NFL Draft.
“It was going out and proving what I’ve proved on tape,” Darnold said on the NFL Network’s broadcast of the workout. “Being aware of all those (technical skills), coming out and ripping it. It’s a job interview. I showed them the best version of myself.”
Sam Darnold was launching dimes at his Pro Day … in the pouring rain 👀
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) March 21, 2018
Darnold, who did not throw at the NFL combine in Indianapolis earlier this month, threw about 60 passes in the rain to USC teammates as well as fellow former Triton quarterback Travis Wilson. Wilson, who led the Tritons to the CIF-SS PAC 5 Division Final as a senior in 2011 and started at Utah, was in the Los Angeles Rams training camp last season as a tight end but did not end up on the final roster.
“It was special to be out here one last time at USC throwing to my guys,” Darnold said.
Darnold said he had met with representatives from the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants, including Browns owner Jimmy Haslam. The Browns and Giants own the No. 1 and No. 2 picks, respectively, in the draft on April 26 in Dallas.
“I’m continuing to be myself,” Darnold said. “The team that falls in love with me, they’re going to pick me and I’m going to be with them. I’m trying to impress them, but at the same time be myself.”
Darnold played three seasons of varsity football at San Clemente and led the Tritons to the 2014 CIF-SS Southwest Division championship game. Darnold threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 39 touchdowns as a senior in that 2014 season with 785 yards and 13 touchdowns rushing.
Darnold also played three seasons of varsity basketball for San Clemente. He averaged over 14 points per game as a junior and senior to lead the Tritons in scoring each season. Darnold was twice a league MVP.
He also earned several football player and athlete of the year awards in his senior year at San Clemente.
Darnold was a redshirt in 2015 at USC and earned the starting quarterback role after one game in 2016. He threw for over 3,000 yards and 31 touchdowns and led USC to a dramatic win over Penn State in the Rose Bowl. Last season Darnold threw for a school-record 4,143 yards and 26 touchdowns as USC won the Pac-12 championship for the first time since 2008.