Five-Star Athlete Curtis Samuel Excited to Get Started at Ohio State
By Tony Gerdeman and Michael Chung
While Ohio State has a very solid in-state recruiting base, the search for talent has never just been limited to the inside of the Buckeye State's border. This is evidenced by the Ohio State roster being represented by over a dozen different states, as well as two continents. In other words, the talent is out there if you're willing to go and get it.
That relentless willingness took the Ohio State coaches to Brooklyn, New York, where they found a player in Curtis Samuel that they felt they just had to have. Samuel (6-0 185) played running back for his Erasmus Hall high school football team, rushing for 1,461 yards and 17 touchdowns on just 92 carries (15.9 ypc) this past season. He played well enough to be named an Army All-American.
Some consider Samuel a wide receiver at the next level, but his athleticism actually found him playing defensive back while at the Army All-American Bowl. Versatility like that is not unfamiliar to Ohio State recruits, as current Buckeye running back Ezekiel Elliott worked a bit at safety in the practices leading up to last year's Army All-American game.
As far as where Samuel will end up when he finally takes the practice field for the Buckeyes, he already has a pretty good idea.
“I'm going to be playing slot and running back,” he recently told The-Ozone. “I'll be learning both positions.”
Being slotted as an H-back would seem to fit Samuel perfectly, as his experience at running back should give him the type of versatility that Urban Meyer prefers out of that position.
Listed at 6-foot-0 and 185 pounds, he was the 2013 Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of New York. He was clocked at a 4.36 40-yard dash last summer at Nike's The Opening camp, and is one of the fastest players in the entire 2014 class. Ohio State will look to use that speed on offense as soon as Samuel is ready to show what he can do.
An early enrollee, Samuel will be able to participate in spring practices, which should give him a tremendous head start on seeing the field in 2014. He will also get to learn behind Dontre Wilson, who put up nearly 1,000 all-purpose yards this past season as a true freshman.
“He's a good player,” he said of Wilson, adding that Wilson's presence at his projected spot wasn't going to scare him away from being a Buckeye.
“Ohio State is about competition, and competing with guys and getting better. That really doesn't matter to me. We're all going to go out there when it's time to play and make plays.”
The time for making plays is coming soon for Samuel, and he is excited about his opportunities moving forward. It probably wouldn't surprise you that the coaches at Ohio State are just as excited.
“I spoke to them,” he said. “They can't wait until I come in. I'm ready to work and to just go out there and compete.”
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