Sam Darnold willing to play for anyone in NFL, including Browns

USC quarterback could be top pick if he enters draft

Cleveland Browns fans who watch the Cotton Bowl on Friday might get a look at their future quarterback.

Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold hasn’t decided whether he will enter the NFL Draft after the season, but if he does, he could be the top overall pick. The possibility of playing for the Browns, who have one victory in the last two seasons and could finish 0-16 this season, won’t deter Darnold.

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“I honestly don’t really look at it that way,” Darnold said on Wednesday during a press conference at the Omni Dallas Hotel. “Certain guys might look at it that way. But for me, I think it’s been such a dream of mine to play in the NFL that whether I go or whether I stay at USC, to be able to have that opportunity to even play in the NFL and achieve that dream of mine is something that I’ve always looked at, and for an organization to put their trust in me to be able to go out there and play football, I think any opportunity to play for anyone would be amazing and something that I’ve always dreamed of.”

Darnold has thrown 26 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions for the Trojans (11-2), who play the Buckeyes at 8:30 p.m. Friday at AT&T Stadium.

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Darnold, a redshirt sophomore, said he will give the decision more thought after the Cotton Bowl. In the meantime, he has gotten advice from his coaches.

“It’s going to be his decision, his family’s decision to make,” offensive coordinator Tee Martin said. “Coach (Clay) Helton has already had one meeting with him and his family. I don’t know if Sam was there. It may have just been his mom and dad. I can’t say what they discussed, but I would think coach Helton was a little biased in that meeting. But Sam has handled everything great. We have had very minor talks and just short discussions.”

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