UCLA vs USC: Three things we learned from the real battle for LA

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Sam Darnold proved he can lead in college, but don’t count your eggs before they hatch

While it’s great for Sam Darnold to end the regular season with the Trojans on a winning note, there’s still room to think about how he’ll actually fit in at the next level. We’ve seen it with quarterbacks before like Tim Tebow and Vince Young who have fallen through, but there are also plenty of Trojans that made the list.

Mark Sanchez, a former Trojan, is best known for a play that would be dubbed as the butt fumble despite leading the New York Jets to consecutive AFC title games. He’s now a wash and not making a huge impact in the league.

You also could look at Matt Leinart, who did well in college as a part of USC’s football program, but was unable to really make a splash in the NFL. Leinart won not only a Heisman trophy in college, but a Walter Camp and Manning award as well.

He’s one of the backup options for the Arizona Cardinals behind an aging Carson Palmer.

That being said, for whatever reason, USC quarterbacks who have been stellar in college haven’t exactly found a consistent beat of success at the top. Perhaps Sam Darnold will break that trend, but it just seems way too early to be thinking that Darnold will be able to do what he’s done in college as a pro.

There’s no doubt though that teams will be eyeing him in either the upcoming draft or a future draft if he decides to stay in school longer. It was assumed that the Jets would be one of the teams that would be looking for him, but it doesn’t seem like he’ll wind up in New York unless he falls in the draft to their slot.