Ohio State’s reliable offensive weapon Curtis Samuel will now get his chance to show off in front of scouts, and prove that he can excel at one — among many — position. The Buckeye halfback will compete with the wide receivers at the NFL Combine, including position drills.
He finished his college career with three years of play under his belt. After spending his first two seasons in the shadow of Ezekiel Elliott, Samuel’s 2016 season included 771 rushing yards, 865 receiving yards and 15 total touchdowns. He became the Swiss army knife of the Buckeye offense, and was able to reliably get yardage on most targets.
He might not have carried the offensive load like last season, but he did play in every game during the team’s 2014 national championship run and saw an increase in snaps in 2015. Samuel also has some experience on special teams, returning kicks his first two seasons and punts in 2016. This should help get him some playing time his rookie year -- as so many before him have earned snaps on offense through their special teams effort.
His diverse production makes his future a bit unclear, but his athleticism makes him an intriguing prospect.
Weight: 196 lbs
Hands: 9 1/2”
Arms: 31 1/4”
Samuel wasn’t just touting his own game to the media, he also spoke about position-mate Noah Brown making the decision to go pro after one season. He explained that most people don’t get to see Brown’s work ethic, and coupled with his size, should be ready for take things to the next level. He wouldn’t go as far as to say that Brown made a good decision by declaring early, only that it was his decision to make.
The Brooklyn, NY native also spoke about what it’s like to represent a community not often thought of in term so of football success. Samuel knows that kids are looking up to him and he embraces that responsibility. He said he hopes kids see what he was able to do with hard work and perseverance and use it as a motivating tool.
Samuel was asked about what he learned about the position from former teammate (now with the Saints) Michael Thomas, “route-running specifically and identify where the balls at and catch the ball”. He went on to note the importance of eliminating wasted movements when timing is crucial and getting his head around on the ball.
The running back/wide receiver said he’s open to playing either position in the NFL; he just wants to be able to contribute no matter which team ends up claiming him. Samuel touched on being in a similar situation to Braxton Miller last year, with both players participating in somewhat unfamiliar position groups.
Bench press: 18 reps
40-yard dash: 4.31
Vertical jump: 37.0”
Broad jump: 119.0”
3 cone drill: 7.09 sec
20-yard shuttle: 4.33 sec