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Sam Darnold Lends His Star Power to Opening Session of Jets House

The sixth annual Jets House got off and flying Saturday morning at SPiN New York, and one Jet who threw himself into the middle of the activity at the first of the weekend’s sessions was none other than quarterback Sam Darnold.

Darnold was asked if this green-and-white descent onto the ping-pong emporium in lower Manhattan in any way had a Southern Cal vibe. He wasn’t buying it.

“Usually when people think of Southern California, they think chill, relaxed. This is anything but,” Darnold said amid the din of the music and the joyful noise from the fans. “But you know, it’s very exciting. There’s a lot of excitement around this next season and I’m just thrilled to kind of get after it.”

He did that first with an hour-plus of signing and posing for several hundred fans. It reminded him of his time growing up as a follower of the USC Trojans.

“I got to spend time with the players there, got to say hi or get an autograph,” he said. “It’s great to be able to do that now for Jets fans.”

Many remarked about Darnold’s late-season progress in guiding the 2018 Jets offense. One of those was former Green & White fullback Tony Richardson, who was also on hand for the Saturday morning fans and recalled that he and Darnold teamed up at the QB’s first public appearance as a Jet, the day after April’s draft at Goryeb Children’s Hospital located on the campus of Morristown (NJ) Medical Center.

“From that day forward, I’ve gotten an appreciation for Sam as a person,” T-Rich said. “Just to see his maturation throughout the season, I thought, was just amazing. And that’s the biggest thing for him going from year one to year two — he’s going to be better. I think toward the end of this past season he kind of settled into his own, and I think the future’s bright.”

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