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Quarterback Sam Darnold positioned to compete for USC job in future

Quarterback Sam Darnold positioned to compete for USC job in future
USC quarterback Cody Kessler runs through drills on Aug. 8 as his backups Max Browne (4), Sam Darnold (14) and Ricky Town (8) look on. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Sam Darnold did not have the benefit of spring practice, as Ricky Town did, but he has shown a strong arm and good mobility in his opportunities during training camp.

Town's decision to transfer out of USC leaves Darnold as the Trojans' lone quarterback in the Class of 2015.

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The roster also includes fifth-year senior Cody Kessler and third-year sophomore Max Browne. Redshirt freshman Jalen Greene moved to receiver.

Darnold, listed at 6-feet-4 and 215 pounds, and other new players have not been made available to the media.

But at the Army Bowl all-star game in December, the former San Clemente High star said he was prepared for competition.

"My thought, from the beginning really, was that I'm going to have to compete wherever I go for the starting job and that's my mind-set going in -- just to compete," he said. "That's all I can do. At the end of the day, the coaches make the decision about who is going to be starting, so that's not really in my power, but I'm going to give it my all for sure."

Coach Steve Sarkisian said Sunday that the quarterback position was different from others because only one can play.

"It takes a certain type of makeup to envision three, four years down the road," he said. "It's not always about what's going on right now but what's happening down the road.

"Cody's a great example of that. The guy was barely third string when he first got going here and now he's on the cover of every magazine in America."

Sarkisian noted that he also transferred schools when he was in college. He enrolled at USC with hopes of playing baseball, but transferred to El Camino College and played football before transferring to Brigham Young.

"I don't judge anybody for staying, leaving, for anything," he said. "You have to make decisions for what you think is in your own interest and then you move forward. That's what life's all about."

Follow Gary Klein on Twitter @LATimesKlein

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