Sam Darnold is taking his talent to the NFL.
On Wednesday, the heralded University of Souther California quarterback announced via his Instagram account, that he was going to declare for the 2018 NFL Draft.
"After talking to my immediate family, very close friends, and various important people throughout my life, I have made the decision to declare for the 2018 NFL Draft," Darnold said in a taped statement. "I have been blessed that my life has been full of memorable moments and wonderful people."
Darnold was 20-4 as the starting quarterback for the Trojans in a season and a half worth of work. The redshirt sophomore was considered a Heisman trophy favorite entering the 2017 season, but he struggled with turnovers in his second year as starting quarterback, leading the FCS in turnovers.
However, despite the mistakes, Darnold still threw for 4,143 yards and 26 touchdowns during the season, and is considered to be a top-5 pick in the NFL Draft.
Many experts, including myself, believed that Darnold should have stayed for one more season for the Trojans, with an opportunity to gain more experience in a pro-style offense.
Darnold's deficiencies were on full display in USC's 24-7 loss to Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl, when he threw a pick-six interception, and lost two fumbles.
Overall, Darnold had 13 interceptions and eight fumbles in his sophomore season.
Whether or not Darnold is NFL ready has yet to be determined, but one thing for certain is that the 6'4", 220 pound quarterback, is still one of the most talented prospects in the Draft and can be a potential game-changing player for any franchise.
Darnold has a strong, accurate arm, and an innate ability to create plays with his feet outside the pocket. His size makes him difficult for any defensive player to bring to the ground, and his ability to break tackles and keep plays alive will make him a valuable asset at the NFL level.
Darnold has been compared to Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and has the potential to be taken by the Cleveland Browns with the first overall pick in the Draft.
Before the Cotton Bowl, Darnold said he had no problem playing for the Browns if they wanted to pick him at No. 1 overall.
One player who did have a problem with getting picked by the Browns was crosstown rival quarterback, Josh Rosen of UCLA. Rosen also declared for the 2018 NFL Draft with a tweet posted on his Twitter account early on Wednesday.
USC will be depleted on offense in 2018, as they lose one of the best quarterbacks in school history as well as one of their top running backs in Ronald Jones II.