Curtis Samuel recruit scouting report: Explosive playmaker

USA TODAY Sports

Top 2014 recruit Curtis Samuel is one of the most highly touted athletes in the country, and holds scholarship offers from nearly every major program.

Samuel attends Erasmus Hall (N.Y.) High School and hails from Brooklyn, N.Y. He can play multiple positions and starred as a running back in high school. He is listed at 6'0 tall, and weighs in at 185 pounds.

He is rated as a five-star by 247sports, and a four-star by Rivals, Scout and ESPN. Rivals considers him the eighth-best wide receiver in the class, ESPN ranks him the 20th-best athlete in the class, Scout rates him as the 14th-best wide receiver and 247sports lists him as the second-best athlete. The 247sports composite considers him a four-star, rating him as the 59th-best player in the class, the seventh-best athlete and the best player in the state of New York.

Samuel holds offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Miami, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee and USC, among others.

Derrell Warren, National Recruiting Analyst (@yssd):

Samuel is listed at 6'0" 185. However, he appears a bit smaller than what he's listed on most recruiting sites. He's a bit thin through his lower half. And while he has some natural definition to his frame, he can certainly add some additional muscle. His long arms and fairly broad shoulders serve as an indicator of his capacity to put on good weight.

The calling card of Samuel's game is speed. This is something he possesses in spades. He's an elite big-play threat, one of the most dangerous players in the country. He's a smooth mover and somewhat of a mid-strider who gets up to top speed quickly. Out in space he runs with balance, agility, and body control.

On tape, Samuel doesn't get many conventional running back or wide receiver-type touches. You see him often being schemed into space via the end-around, counters, swing passes, and bubble screens.

Samuel is a recruit that is more quick than fast. More apt to find a crease and outrun defenders in the open field than he is to shake them with jukes.

Now all this being said, Samuel has loose hips can re-direct his frame laterally. On tape there are times he can be running parallel to the line of scrimmage and then seemingly in one motion square his shoulders to the line and burst down-hill. He isn't overly creative at the second and third levels and isn't often seen making defenders miss with sudden change of direction. Although part of this could be a function of his speed beating defenders so often that shifty moves aren't as necessary.

There are a few questions that exist with Samuel going forward: Will he add additional weight in an effort to develop into a full time runner or learn the intricacies of the wide receiver position while operating as a change of pace option early in his career?

I initially see him being deployed all over the formation similar to Reggie Bush or Percy Harvin early in their careers. He'll likely start off in a change of pace role with electric potential. A more full time role will largely be determined by how he's able to mature physically.

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