USC Trojans News: Jake Smith finds new destination, Sam Darnold stays winning, more

Sam Darnold, USC Football, USC Trojans
Sam Darnold, USC Football, USC Trojans / Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Former USC Football Wide Receiver Jake Smith is now an Arizona State Sun Devil, per Chris Karpman of 247Sports. Smith, after transferring to SC from Texas in the 2020-2021 offseason, was away from the team this past season. It was unclear as to why, but regardless, he hit the transfer portal after the season and is now headed to Tempe.

Smith is originally from Scottsdale, Arizona, so this fit makes sense. New ASU Football Head Coach Kenny Dillingham used to coach in Scottsdale as well, so it's no surprise that this is one of the weapons he wanted to load up with. Smith did not play for SC in 2021, but was the No. 8 Wide Receiver recruit in the country for the 2019 recruiting class.

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Former Pac-12 Champion and Rose Bowl Champion QB with USC Football, Sam Darnold has now won back-to-back NFL starts this season. They are his first two starts of the season, and he has won both and put the Carolina Panthers just one game back of the NFC South Division lead. Darnold beat the Seattle Seahawks, by a score of 30-24.

Darnold completed 14 of 24 passes for 120 pass yards, with one touchdown and zero interceptions. Those are not huge numbers, but ball protection was the difference in this game, as Darnold and the Panthers scored off of both of Seattle's turnovers, and the Panthers never let the Seahawks take a possession from them. Darnold also ran the ball four times for 30 yards (three times for 31 yards before a QB kneel to end the game).


Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is set to be the next NCAA Commissioner on March 1st, 2023. He will of course be succeeding Mark Emmert. This will be his new gig, as his term as the Massachusetts governor ends on January 5th, 2023. He did not end up running for re-election, so that would be it.

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Emmert will continue in an advisory role for the NCAA until June of 2023. Emmert has been with the NCAA for over 12 years. It appears that the NCAA is interested in hiring someone with a political background, due to the connections they're going to need to receive help on NIL concerns from federal lawmakers.