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Getting to Know NY Jets Rookie Quarterback Sam Darnold

The Jets selected Sam Darnold with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. In his collegiate career at the University of Southern California, Darnold totaled 7,229 passing yards, 549 completions, 57 touchdowns, and 22 interceptions. Darnold was also extremely accurate in college as he completed 64.9 percent of all his passes.

Name: Samuel Richard Darnold

Born: June 5, 1997 in Capistrano Beach, California

Height: 6 ft 3 in

Weight: 225 lb

High school: San Clemente in San Clemente, California

College: USC

NFL Draft:2018 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3 by the NY Jets

Salary: On July 30, 2018, Darnold signed a 4-year deal worth $30.25 fully guaranteed featuring a $20 million signing bonus with the Jets.

Favorite thing to do on an off day: Surf

Favorite professional ball player growing up: Kobe Bryant

Favorite baseball team growing up:  L.A. Dodgers

Person that has made the most impact on your life: My mother

Which quarterbacks growing up did you look up to? A: Tom Brady is a great one to look at just because he’s not known as being the most athletic guy but the way he moves in his pocket and the way he goes about making his reads and going through his progressions, it’s something that I’ve taken away and tried to implement into my game. And then guys like Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, guys who can move around and make plays.

What do you think you need improve the most as a player this year? A: You can always improve a ton in the film room. Other than that, probably just staying in the pocket and not being so anxious to scramble. I know that’s a strength of mine, kind of improvising sometimes. There’s a fine line of staying in the pocket too long as well. Finding that balance and being able to go through my reads and being patient.

How do you make sure you’re in a solid mental state to play? A: I like meditating. Even if it’s only for five or 10 minutes each day. It gives me the chance to hone in on myself and understand what I need to be doing. This is going to sound deep, but meditating really helps me tap into my soul.

What are you looking forward to most about playing in the NFL as a NY Jet this season? A:I am ready to learn, and having a veteran quarterback that’s had experience there is going to be key. So getting with him and understanding what he’s thinking and the process they go through to get ready each week, and how they handle themselves as professionals. I’m ready to learn as much as I can about being a pro, and looking at a defense and understanding what they’re going to do at this level.