One of the most dynamic players in college football in 2016, Curtis Samuel now knows where he’ll begin his pro career in 2017.
On Friday night, the Carolina Panthers selected the former Ohio State H-back with the eighth pick in the second round, No. 40 overall, of the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia.
An All-American selection as an all-purpose player, Samuel’s versatility made for a perfect fit in one of the premier positions in Urban Meyer’s spread offense. In 2016, the 5-foot-11, 197-pound Brooklyn, N.Y., native was the only player in the nation to tally 800 receiving yards and 700 rushing yards. At season’s end, Samuel had totaled 74 receptions, 865 receiving yards and 15 total touchdowns (8 rushing, 7 receiving) — all tops on the team — to go with 771 rushing yards.
He is best known, however, for what would be the final touchdown of his college career: the game-winning score in the second overtime of the Buckeyes’ 30-27 College Football Playoff-clinching victory against rival Michigan.
The iconic shot of Samuel leaping into the end zone became an instant hit for Ohio State memorabilia collectors.
After foregoing his remaining eligibility to enter the draft, Samuel’s stock appeared to rise as he ran a blazing 4.31 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine — the fastest recorded time for any Ohio State player in the history of the event. Samuel also put his versatility on full display at the Buckeyes’ pro day, working out in both wide receiver and running back drills.
The position he’s best suited for at the next level appears to still be up in the air. But regardless of where he lines up, Samuel already possesses a proven propensity for making the big play.