Sam Darnold comes from a long line of star quarterbacks at USC, and Matt Leinart might be at the top of that list. In his three collegiate seasons, Leinart held at least a share of the national title twice and won a Heisman Trophy. He was the No. 10 overall pick in the 2006 draft and spent parts of eight seasons in the NFL. Leinart is now on Fox Sports' college football team.

As an analyst and a Trojan, Leinart has unique perspective on Darnold, who will soon decide between entering the 2018 draft or staying in Los Angeles.

"We're close, we're really close," Leinart says. "I think he's a phenomenal talent and he's still learning. The scary thing is coming into this year, I think he had nine career starts from last year. He's still young. He's still raw. I think with him the potential ... he still has so much room to grow and I mean that in a good way. Great athlete, arm strength, humble, one of the more humble kids I've ever met. Works hard. Players love him, and whatever he decides to do, I think he'll be great either way. But he still has so much room to grow, in a great way, which is kind of scary."

As for actually influencing Darnold's decision, Leinart believes he could have a role after USC takes on Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl Classic.

"I don't have an agenda," Leinart says. "I stayed for my senior year. Many people thought I would have been the No. 1 pick. I loved going back to school and I loved being in college. I have no regrets to this day, but every situation is different. If he's the No. 1 pick, well, that's the thing, you never know. It's hard to stay. We'll see. I think a lot of things have to happen. I think I would give him advice on the process if he elects to come out or the pros and cons. Ultimately, it's his choice."

Leinart is part of the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class, which was honored Tuesday at the National Football Foundation Annual Awards event in New York City.

-- Follow Jeff Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband. Like Jeff Eisenband on Facebook.

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