Sam Darnold is an American football star who plays the quarterback position for the New York Jets of the NFL. The talented player was drafted by the Jets during the NFL draft of 2018. He completed his collegiate career with the Trojans football team of the University of Southern California. While he was there, Sam led the Trojans to win the 2017 Rose Bowl Championship. He was the recipient of the Archie Griffin Award for excellent performance in 2016. Read on, as we take you through Sam’s bio, career, and other interesting facts below.
Sam Darnold Biography
The Jets quarterback was born as Samuel Richard Darnold on the 5th day of June 1997 in Capistrano Beach, California. He came from an athletic family; his father was an offensive lineman at the University of Redlands. His sister, Franki is a volleyball player at the University of Rhode Island while his mother is currently a physical education teacher at Shorecliffs Middle School. Sam made his first touch in sports when he started playing basketball at the age of five.
Growing up, he enrolled at San Clemente High School, California where he was lettered in baseball, basketball, and football. As a football player, Sam Darnold first started his career playing both the outside linebacker and wide receiver’s position for his team. Later on, he switched to the quarterback position and was able to finish his career with 39 touchdowns and 3000 yards. Following his commendable skills and amazing performance, he received the South Coast League MVP Award twice. He was equally given a four-star rating by sports illustration websites like Rivals.com and Scout.com.
After setting an impressive record in high school, Sam was recruited by so many top universities including Utah, Oregon, and Duke University. He eventually chose to attend the University of Southern California over others. Joining the Trojans in the 2015 season, Sam didn’t play in that season because he was redshirted that first year. Returning to action the following year, Sam Darnold was placed as a backup quarterback to Max Browne. The duo later formed a formidable offensive line for the Trojans; thus making them unbeatable throughout the 2016 season. At the end of his rookie season, Sam won Pac -12 Offensive Player of the Year Award and his team booked a spot to feature in 2017 Rose Bowl Championship.
At the Rose Bowl, Sam led his team to triumph over Penn State University football team with a record of 52 – 49. The quarterback made 33 passes covering 453 yards and five touchdowns. He was honoured with the Archie Griffin Award for his unparalleled contribution to his team. He was also named to the All American Freshman Team. During the 2017 season, Sam Darnold became people’s favourite for the Heisman trophy; nevertheless, the season didn’t turn out so well for the quarterback as he was plagued by injuries. At the end of the season, Sam Darnold was listed among the top prospects of the 2018 NFL draft.
NFL Draft Profile and Career Stats
Joining the 2018 draft, Sam Darnold participated in the NFL combine drills where he put up an impressive performance. He completed the 40-yard dash in 4.85 seconds, 10-yard split in 1.67 seconds, and 3 cone drills in 6.96 seconds. He also measured 6 feet 3 3/8 in height and 221 pounds in weight. His arm length was 31 inches while his hand size was 9 3/8 inches. Sam was projected to be among the top picks in the first round of the draft. During the draft, he was chosen by the New York Jets as the third player overall that year.
The quarterback penned a four-year rookie contract worth $30.25 million in July 2018. The contract includes a signing bonus of $20 million. Sam made his debut while leading the Jets to victory over the Atlanta Falcons in their preseason game on 10th August 2018. He scored a touchdown with 96 passing yards in the game. So far, the quarterback has been a great addition to the Jets team and he has been showcasing high performance in his first professional season.
Sam Darnold’s Girlfriend
In addition to his amazing football career, Sam Darnold has equally been active off the field. The quarterback has been in a relationship with a lady named Claire Kirksey. Claire was born and raised in California, United States. She completed her high school at Huntington Beach High School where she was a part of the Huntington’s softball team. Claire is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree at California State University.
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The pair began their relationship a few years ago and has always been so supportive of each other. Unlike many other celebrities who don’t enjoy so much publicity when it comes to their personal life, Sam and Claire’s relationship appears to be the opposite. The lovebirds have always shared pictures of their happy moments on Instagram. A mere look at couple would show you they are really meant for each other. They have not tied the knot yet but have future plans.
His Height and Weight
Sam Darnold has a wonderful and attractive personality. He is not the tallest player in the league neither is he the shortest. Sam has a great height of 6 feet 3 inches (1.92 m) and a commensurate weight of 102 kg (225 pounds). The footballer has brown hair and his eyes are also brown in color.