Sam Darnold and Cameron Smith were named preseason All-Americans by CBS, with the linebacker getting an additional nod from Sports Illustrated.
Sam Darnold and Cameron Smith are on their way to consensus preseason All-American status as the two Trojans stars made it onto two preseason All-American teams on Wednesday.
Darnold and Smith were both selected to the CBS Sports preseason All-America team at quarterback and linebacker respectively.
Smith also made the first team for Sports Illustrated’s preseason team, while Darnold was beaten out by Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. The Trojan QB was voted onto the second team.
Darnold and Smith are expected to drive USC’s Pac-12 championship and College Football Playoff hopes in 2017, having already picked up preseason All-American honors from Sporting News and 247Sports.
The quarterback is considered a Heisman Trophy favorite after his outstanding freshman campaign, throwing for 3,086 yards with 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
At linebacker, Cameron Smith also starred as a freshman, back in 2015, before a season-ending knee injury cut his debut short. He returned in 2016 and led the Trojans in tackles while garnering All-Pac-12 second team honors.
USC’s 2017 slate will feature dates with a few preseason All-Americans, notably offfensive linemen.
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Texas offensive lineman Connor Williams, a preseason All-American in both CBS and SI, will come to the Coliseum with the Longhorns in Week 3. He’ll be joined by SI second-team selection Malik Jefferson at linebacker.
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The Trojans will end September by traveling to north to face Washington State’s Cody O’Connell, also a consensus pick between the two services.
USC’s trip to Notre Dame will also feature the challenge of besting a CBS preseason All-American in tackle Mike McGlinchey, who is an SI second-teamer. Sports Illustrated elevated Irish guard Quinton Nelson to their first team, while CBS placed him on the second team.
Utah punter Mitch Wishnowsky also made both All-American teams.
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The Trojans will miss out on CBS second team selections like Oregon running back Royce Freeman, Washington return man Dante Pettis, UW defensive lineman Vita Vea and Husky linebacker Azeem Victor unless they meet in the Pac-12 championship game.
SI’s second team includes Freeman, along with UW RB Myles Gaskin.