USC Football 2017: Six Trojans make SI Top 100 for 2017

By | July 3, 2017

USC Football 2017: Six Trojans make SI Top 100 for 2017
The Opening Finals got underway from Beaverton, Oreg. on Thursday, featuring some of the most touted recruiting prospects in the country. Some of the bigger QB names include Clemson commit and 2018’s No. 1 overall prospect in Trevor Lawrence, five-star Justin Fields, and Virginia Tech commit Quincy Patterson. One annual tradition is having current college quarterbacks serve as camp counselors. Those have included Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, and Clemson’s Tajh Boyd.

This year, one of those counselors is USC quarterback Sam Darnold, who is coming off of a 3,086 yard, 31-touchdown season during the Trojans’ final nine games. Not only did Darnold get to tutor young QBs, he put up the highest score ever for the event’s annual counselor competition. Sam Darnold won the college counselor QB competition here at The Opening … with the highest score they’ve ever recorded in the event.

USC Football 2017: Six Trojans make SI Top 100 for 2017

USC Football 2017

Darnold is no stranger to The Opening Finals. In 2014, before he was committed to USC, he attended the event alongside quarterbacks such as Blake Barnett, Florida State’s Deondre Francios, UCLA’s Josh Rosen, and former Baylor, now-Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham. At the time, Darnold was still a sleeper in the recruiting class, considering Duke Northwestern, and Oregon. It’s no secret why the hype surrounding Darnold is so high entering this season after such a successful 2016 campaign and an impressive Rose Bowl victory over Penn State. Darnold will be key for the Trojans to be in the College Football Playoff conversation.

USC Football 2017 Schedule

From the moment Sam Darnold took the starting QB job in Week 4, USC Football was different. The Trojans averaged 4.6 yards per play before he took over and 6.9 after, 20.3 points per game before and 38.6 after. The Trojans were the only team to beat Washington in the regular season — by 13 points in Seattle, no less — and the only one besides Michigan to beat Colorado. They beat a peaking Penn State in the Rose Bowl. They didn’t let lesser teams come anywhere close.
Per OddsShark, Darnold has +250 odds to win the Heisman Trophy. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt his hype stock when he’s making ridiculous throws like this one, from the back of a boat.

Ruger, an Orangeburg-Wilkinson High graduate, was a three-year starter for the Gamecocks and team captain in 1978, starring for coach Jim Carlen’s teams of the late 1970s. He is tied for fourth in school history with a career punting average of 41.1 yards. He was a 2007 inductee into the S.C. Athletic Hall of Fame, a 2013 inductee into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame and a SEC Football Legends pick, also in 2013.

Runager was an eighth round selection by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1979 NFL draft. He spent 11 years in the NFL with the Eagles, 49ers and Browns and he punted for two Super Bowl teams, the 1980 Eagles and the 1984 49ers. He still holds the single-game punting average USC record at 47 yards per punt in a game vs. Ole Miss on Oct. 21, 1978. According to USC, funeral services will be announced at a later date by Dukes Harley Funeral Home in Orangebur.

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