Darnold Named FWAA Freshman All-American, Helton First Year Co-Coach Of Year

    Sam Darnold and Clay Helton
    Jan. 9, 2017

    USC quarterback Sam Darnold was named a Freshman All-American first teamer by the Football Writers Association of America, while Trojan head coach won the FWAA’s First Year Co-Coach of the Year Award.

    Darnold is just USC’s second-ever Freshman All-American first team quarterback, joining Todd Marinovich, who was named in 1989.

    Helton was honored along with Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuentes.

    Darnold was the 2016 Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year, won the Archie Griffin Award and was a finalist for the Manning Award while completing 67.2% of his passes for 3,086 yards and 31 TDs with just 9 interceptions. He was named the Rose Bowl Offensive Player of Game as he set Rose Bowl records with 5 passing TDs and 473 total yards of offense in Monday's thrilling last second 52-49 win over No. 5 Penn State. He was 33-of-53 passing for 453 yards overall in the game, including 10-of-10 for 135 yards in the fourth quarter as he engineered 2 late touchdowns drives to tie the score.

    After his Trojans started off 1-3 in 2016, Helton guided USC on a 9-game winning streak (its longest since 2008-09) and a Rose Bowl berth. His team posted wins over UCLA and Notre Dame and in the Rose Bowl, just the 13th season that has happened in Trojan history. USC beat both teams (No. 4 Washington and No. 21 Colorado) that played in the Pac-12 Championship Game. He is a finalist for the 2016 Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award.