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Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold and the QB battle for L.A. being overlooked

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LOS ANGELES — This city is built on comparisons.

Whether it’s boob jobs or beach bods, everybody thinks theirs is better. Fitting in here requires a certain vain competitiveness. Why else would there even be a B-list of actors?

For years, HBO subscribers paid good money to see a fake show about a fake squad of sycophant bros, a series that many said absolutely summed up the SoCal ethos.

Ever hear of “Entourage?”

Yup, appearances matter here.

Perhaps the latest example is the least known quarterback battle you’ve never heard.
UCLA Bruins

Josh Rosen
and
Southern California Trojans

Sam Darnold
have barely met in person. They’ve never met on the field.

That will change Nov. 18 in the Coliseum. Before, during and after, though, the pair will wage the city’s most talented college quarterback competition in almost 30 years.

Ask around. The last time there were a pair of quarterbacks this good guiding the city’s rivals was the late 1980s. UCLA’s Troy Aikman and USC’s Rodney Peete met twice — both Trojan wins in 1987 and 1988 — then played a combined 28 seasons and 269 games in the NFL.

Aikman was the overall No. 1 choice in the 1989 NFL Draft. Peete was taken in the sixth round. Most projections have both Darnold and Rosen rated among the top three quarterbacks available in next year’s draft. Darnold, perhaps, could go No. 1 overall.

“Honestly, the guy has no flaws,” said NFL personnel guru Gil Brandt.

“Josh — talent-wise, obviously — is the best quarterback in the country,” said Jason Negro, Rosen’s high school coach.

You haven’t heard? They’re both an integral part of The Year of the Quarterback in college football. The arms of Darnold, Rosen and
Wyoming Cowboys

Josh Allen
top the NFL wish list going into the 2017 season.

Last year’s crop of quarterbacks was thin to the point that
North Carolina Tar Heels
Mitch Trubisky was taken No. 2 overall with only 13 career starts.

“I really believe that everybody benefits from playing four years of football, especially the quarterback position,” said Jedd Fisch, the third offensive coordinator Rosen’s had in his three college seasons. “I think Josh should play over 30 games.”

Sunday’s opener against
Texas A&M Aggies
will mark Rosen’s 20th college game.

Darnold is starting a season for the first time, believe it or not. It was his ascension to starter in Game 4 of 2016 that began a turnaround of USC’s fortunes. The Trojans lost that game to
Utah Utes
but then won nine in a row.

Rosen is starting over after an injured shoulder knocked him out in last season’s sixth game. The Bruins then cratered, going 1-5 to finish 4-8.

Since then, his views have kept him in the news more than his surgically repaired arm. Rosen’s “football and school don’t go together” quote is barely three weeks old. But it rocked the sport, shining a light on college athletics’ priorities.

Rosen told CBS Sports he was urged to move a required class for his economics major to the summer because it bled “30…


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