Darnold ready to create when needed

San Clemente (Calif.) quarterback Sam Darnold will join fellow USC quarterback commit Ricky Town at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Jan. 3 for the West team.

San Clemente (Calif.) quarterback Sam Darnold committed to USC early in the recruiting process to focus on school and to win a CIF title for the Tritons.

“When I made my decision over the summer, I called all of the schools and coaches that offered me and told them that I was committing to SC,” said Darnold. “They’ve respected that, so I haven’t really been recruited since then.”

While the journey of winning a title continues Friday against Foothill High School, Darnold’s senior year has already been one of triumph. Throwing for 2,357-yards and 32 touchdowns and just five interceptions, Darnold adds nine score and 500-yards rushing to that total.

Darnold’s passing percentage of 68-percent and 32 touchdowns mirrors that of USC junior quarterback Cody Kessler, who has a competition percentage of 70-percent with 29 touchdowns and just three interceptions.

“I can’t speak for Cody, but for me, it’s impossible to know what kind of year you’re going to have,” said Darnold. “I just take it one game at a time and I don’t even know when I’m going to have a big game.”

It’s Darnold’s first year starting a full season at quarterback, and although his passing statistics have been impressive, his success over an 11 game season hasn’t come with any single game monster performances.

Darnold is all about being consistent. But his ability to run the football is a wrinkle USC fans have yet to see with the Trojans present day offense.

“I think the major difference with this offense USC is running is the uptempo,” said Darnold. “They’re also in the shotgun basically the whole game.

“I haven’t really talked to the coaches much about my mobility in the offense. I think it can be a big asset when necessary, but we haven’t talked about it. I pride myself on making plays when plays aren’t there. Creating play, but not trying to create something when I don’t have to.”

With USC’s young offensive skill players on display this season, Darnold is perfectly happy dishing out passes until pressed to scramble.

“Juju (Smith), Adoree Jackson and Bryce Dixon have all been really impressive,” said Darnold. “I’m sure I missed some guys, but those are the notable freshmen.”

And Darnold wouldn’t mind adding to that list with a great recruiting haul this February. Darnold was one specific playmaker on his wish list.

Christian Kirk, just because of what I saw from him at the Opening,” said Darnold. “No predictions though. I don’t want to jinks anything.”

The class of 2015 will be the first USC recruits with a full allotment of scholarships in three years. It’s a class that the Trojans hope can have an immediate impact.

“It’s hard to say what impact we’ll have without having played any games, but since we get more scholarships, it definitely doesn’t hurt.

“But we all know that no matter where we went, we are going to have to compete for jobs. We are aware playing time is going to be earned at USC, not given.”

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