After practice Monday, Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold refuted speculation that he would stay in school to avoid being drafted by the Cleveland Browns.
“I didn’t say anything about the Browns,” Darnold said, according to The Orange County Register. “I’ve never said anything bad about a team. They know I would never say anything.”
The speculation stems from a radio interview that Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated and The MMQB had with a Cleveland radio station earlier this month. In response to a question about Darnold, Breer said he believed the quarterback's decision to declare for the NFL draft or stay at USC would "take everything into account (and) that includes who's at the top of the draft."
A few weeks later, when asked about the "report" that he would stay in school to avoid the Browns, Darnold said, "I'm not sure where that came from so I'm going to leave it alone."
Darnold, a redshirt sophomore, is widely expected to be a first-round pick if he decides to enter the 2018 draft. He has completed 63.3 percent of his passes for 3,462 yards this season with 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
USC is play Stanford in the Pac-12 championship game Friday night.