If Friday night’s Cotton Bowl was the last game of Sam Darnold’s college career, it was an inauspicious ending.
Darnold, the USC quarterback viewed as a potential first overall pick in the NFL draft, threw a pick-six and lost two fumbles in a 24-7 loss to Ohio State. He said after the game that he hasn’t yet decided whether to turn pro.
”Right now I think I’m really just focused on hanging out with my teammates for the next couple of days, really just saying bye to the seniors because they put together such a great season.’’ he said. “It’s tough. I’ll look at everything and make my decision after that.’’
If Darnold had been permitted to turn pro a year ago, he might have been the first overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft. But Darnold didn’t play as well this year, and that may have hurt his draft stock.
Still, Darnold is now three years out of high school, which means he satisfies the NFL’s requirements to be draft eligible. It would be a major surprise if he doesn’t announce next month that he’s turning pro.