Thursday, March 11, 2010

Richard Samuel - from Pygmy Goat to Bonecrusher

I spent some time recently digging up some old videos of a former Cass High School RB/LB. If you're unfamiliar with who I'm referring to, you NEED to read this post from Streit at Bubba 'n Earl. One of my all-time favorites.

Ok, now that you're up to speed...Richard Samuel moving from offense to defense is one of the changes I'm most excited about this off-season. Of course the new DC is at the top and Logan Gray appears to be needed a little more now under center than at WR (which seemed impossible a few days ago). But Samuel's switch is full of intrigue and seems a decision of sound mind.

And I think this video shows exactly why it's a good decision...and also one that should've been made earlier. Dean Legge gives us about 2 minutes of footage from one game that is equally divided between offense and defense. Perhaps I'm just seeing what I want to, but at tailback I see a lot of what we saw the last two years from #22: good speed, full of reckless abandon and always seems a move and a half away from breaking a big one.

That and he runs himself out of his cleats a lot. But on the defensive side he's more instinctive, natural. He hits real, real hard (you'll wanna run it back to the 1:15 mark a couple times...Damn!). And looks good playing off the edge, which is where Grantham is test driving him to start the spring.

At this early stage you'd have to think the odds are against Samuel starting in September given the competition and the learning curve he's up against. Then again, Coach Richt gives him a compliment (from his backhand, but a compliment nonetheless) - 
I think he's about like the rest of the guys - they're all kind of lost because they're all learning it brand new....But that's one thing that will help Richard. If all these guys had experience at it, he might be farther behind. But he's about as lost as the rest of them. 
Fellow LB Marcus Dowtin has been an advocate of a defensive Samuel for quite a while - 
He's an athlete. He's strong, he's fast, and I think he'll be a great complement to me, and I can be a great complement to him out there. He's made out linebacker corps a lot more athletic and a lot faster.
In short, I think there's some big plays in this kid's future. And smart money is on his first being a bonecrushing hit in Columbia that separates the ball from Stephen Garcia's car-keying hands.

How fitting.

Some related links on Samuel:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah you are seeing what you want to see. Instinctive? He just running around hitting people. I think he'll be a better LB than RB but the kid had TONS of highlights at running back as well.