Stanford's Shaw: Sam Darnold is 'the best QB in the nation'

Photo of Stanford's Shaw: Sam Darnold is 'the best QB in the nation'

Stanford coach David Shaw heaped the highest praise onto USC's Sam Darnold on Thursday, saying the sophomore is already his benchmark for quarterbacks around the country.

"I think they got the best quarterback in the nation," he told reporters at Pac-12 Media Days while discussing the Trojans, who Stanford will meet Sept. 9, according to Joey Kaufman of the Orange County Register.

Darnold quickly rose to stardom last season after replacing Max Browne as USC's starter, and is thought to be a prime candidate for the No. 1 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. Darnold, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, UCLA's Josh Rosen, and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson of Louisville are among the pivots contending for the right to be called the best quarterback in the country.

As for his own quarterback situation, Shaw said senior Keller Chryst is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a torn ACL, and will be a limited participant in fall practice.

"He may not do everything, but he's ... going to drop back full speed and throw the ball," he told Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Stanford is coming off a 10-3 campaign, which Shaw said "felt like a disappointment," and is slated to open the 2017 schedule Aug. 26 versus Rice in Australia.

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