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USC football in the NFL: Two Trojans voted team captains

Sep 12, 2020, 3:00 AM EDT
Former USC football WR Robert Woods. (Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
Former USC football WR Robert Woods. (Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
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USC football alums Robert Woods and Sam Darnold will captain their NFL squads in 2020.

Of the 23 USC football alumni on active NFL rosters for the 2020 season, two will serve as team captains.

Rams wide receiver Robert Woods and Jets quarterback Sam Darnold will hold the distinction as captains.

Woods is a first-time captain for the Rams. Darnold will repeat as a captain after getting the nod in 2019 as well.

Robert Woods and Sam Darnold will represent USC football as leaders in the NFL.

Darnold’s time with the Jets has been full of struggles, mostly from a team perspective. He’s gone 11-15 as a starter. There were signs of life last year after he returned from a bout with mononucleosis which kept him out for much of September. Darnold threw four touchdowns against Washington while also flashing against the Raiders in late November.

CHECK OUT: Which USC alums are starting in the NFL this year?

Consistency has been the concern for Darnold. For Woods, it’s been his calling card.

Woods spent four seasons with the Buffalo Bills before leaving for the Rams in 2017. Since he arrived in Los Angeles, he has done everything possible to establish himself as one of the more reliable pass-catchers in the game. In the last two seasons, he managed 1,000-yard campaigns. He’ll be looking for a third in 2020.

The Trojans had two captains last year as well. Along with Darnold, Everson Griffen was also a captain with the Minnesota Vikings. However, Griffin entered the free-agent market this spring and landed with the Dallas Cowboys. Perhaps he’ll work his way towards captain status there too.

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There’s a chance other former Trojans will appear among the ranks of captains in 2020. Some teams have opted to announce weekly captains instead of season-long appointees.

That means Tyron Smith, Griffen and Antwaun Woods of the Cowboys could wear a captain’s patch this year. So could Jurrell Casey with the Denver Broncos.

Mount Rushmore of USC QBs. Next

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