Sam Darnold calls being named Jets’ starter ‘an amazing feeling’
The New York Jets saw enough out of San Darnold throughout offseason activities, training camp and preseason games to anoint him the team’s starting quarterback. The third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft admitted Tuesday that learning the news on Monday was “an amazing feeling,” hardly a surprising reaction.
Darnold’s Jets career starts in earnest next Monday night against the Detroit Lions in a nationally televised game. The 21-year-old Darnold, who will become the youngest quarterback to ever start an NFL game since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, is approaching his regular-season debut with confidence, not cockiness.
“It’s going to be a really fun first start for me in the NFL,” Darnold told reporters Tuesday, via NJ.com. “But at the same time, I know that I have a long way to go this week. I know just because I got named the starter doesn’t mean we won the game Monday night.
“… I need to continue to prove it to myself, prove it to my teammates, prove it to the coaches that I can play this game at a high level,” Darnold added. “But at the same time, I’m confident in myself that I can go out there every day and do that.”
And about being the youngest starting QB since the merger?
“I mean, yeah, it’s cool,” Darnold said. “It’s definitely something that I pride myself on. First of all, I know that I haven’t done anything yet. I haven’t won any games in the NFL. Knowing that I am young compared to a lot of the other starting quarterbacks, for me, I think that’s more of just affirmation of knowing that I’ve got a long way to go.”
The Jets have high hopes for Darnold and the rookie exhibited a team-first attitude during OTAs and minicamp. While a brief holdout at the start of training camp over his contract left Darnold somewhat behind, the quarterback proved himself worthy of getting the nod in Week 1 of his rookie season.