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Jets QB Sam Darnold says he has to ‘come in and earn respect’ in New York

Sam Darnold

As the No. 3 overall pick by the New York Jets in the 2018 NFL Draft, former University of Southern California star quarterback Sam Darnold faces very high expectations heading into his rookie season in the Big Apple.

However, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, Darnold is fully aware that his first step towards being successful with the Jets is earning the respect of his teammates and coaches.

At some point in the near future, Darnold will also be at the helm of a Jets franchise that has not been to a Super Bowl since January 1969 with star quarterback Joe Namath.

“I embrace that, but I understand every single day is a process. You have to come in here and earn respect. I’m not going to come in here and demand it,” Darnold said on Friday before his first team minicamp practice. “I just have to come in here understanding the position I’m in. I’m a rookie — I understand that — but at the same time, I’m a quarterback, and I have to be a leader on the field and off it as well.”

A Jets fanbase that is hungry for success has embraced Darnold, and the 20-year-old quarterback is ready to show that he’s the real deal.

“It’s just really cool how excited they are about me being here,” Darnold said. “It’s really awesome to have that feeling, that you feel wanted. Whether I’m wanted or not, I’m going to come in here and do my thing.”

Throughout training camp and the preseason, he will compete with Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater, and Christian Hackenberg for the Jets’ starting quarterback position.

In 27 games for USC, Darnold compiled an impressive 20-4 record for the Trojans, throwing for 7,229 yards on a 64.9 completion percentage, 57 touchdown passes, and 22 interceptions.