Per ESPN's Dianna Russini, Darnold said during an appearance on SportsCenter he doesn't "think any team should tank their season because of me."
Darnold also disputed a report from NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah that he might play out his last two years at USC before going to the NFL.
"I'm taking it one year at a time," Darnold said, via Russini. "I don't know where he got his information" about staying in school for the next two seasons.
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B/R's Matt Miller had Darnold ranked as the No. 2 quarterback and No. 2 overall player in the 2018 class on his initial rankings.
Darnold took over as USC's starting quarterback in the fourth game last season against Utah. A redshirt freshman in 2016, he finished with 3,086 yards and 31 touchdowns while leading the Trojans to nine straight wins.
While the individual spotlight on Darnold will be bright in 2017, USC also has sky-high expectations as a team. Bill Bender of the Sporting News has the Trojans ranked No. 2 in the nation heading into the season, one spot behind Alabama.