2017 Season Countdown: #72 O’Maury Samuels

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15Jun 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #72 O’Maury Samuels

(image via MGoBlog)

Name: O’Maury Samuels
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 192 lbs.
High school: Los LUnas (NM) Los Lunas
Position: Running back
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Samuels was a senior in high school. He ran 160 times for 1,376 yards and 14 touchdowns, along with 7 catches for 46 yards and 1 touchdown and 1 kickoff return touchdown.
TTB Rating: 82

Samuels committed in April of 2016, but Michigan had to continue recruiting him to keep him in the fold. Part of the issue seemed to be a test score, and another part of the issue seemed to be Michigan’s pursuit of Najee Harris. He was a bit under the radar, but at one point he held the lead in national SPARQ score and earned an invitation to The Opening. He claims that he can run a 4.3, but officially he ran a 4.58, had a 44.5″ vertical, and had a 4.14 shuttle. He won a state championship in the 100 meters with a time of 11.22 and finished third in the 200 meters with a time of 22.79.

Michigan has lacked a big-play starting running back for a while, although maybe that guy is already in Ann Arbor in the form of Chris Evans. Either way, Samuels has the potential to be a big-play guy in college. His level of competition in New Mexico was not stellar, so there’s a lot of projection going on, but there’s no denying the athleticism. He will almost certainly start off behind Evans, but after that, you never know. Running back is a position where guys can contribute early. I think he’ll start off behind Evans, Karan Higdon, and Ty Isaac, at least, but Michigan rotates running backs and there might be room for some carries for Samuels to see what he can do.

Prediction: Backup running back

14Jun 2017
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Poll results: Should the NCAA legislate against schools hiring associates of prospective student-athletes?

Devin Bushes (image via Detroit Free Press)

There has been talk – especially around Michigan since Jim Harbaugh’s hiring – that the NCAA should legislate against the hiring of relatives or associates of prospective student-athletes. The reason is that such hiring appears to be an “impermissible benefit” and unfairly lures certain players to schools. Here were the results of the poll:

No: 72%
Yes: 17%
Yes, but excluding immediate family: 10%

I hold the belief (an antiquated one, according to some) that players in the NCAA should not be paid, partly because paying them becomes very unwieldy when non-revenue sports are taken into account. But I really have no problem with schools hiring parents, coaches, or associates of a player. Speaking of unwieldy, how would one go about preventing anyone associated with a player from getting a job at the university? If a player’s uncle played in the NFL for 10 years, can he not be hired by a school because his nephew is a good high school football player? If I’m a successful high school coach in the state of Texas, should I not be eligible to move up in the coaching ranks because I have five FBS prospects on my team who are being recruited by a bunch of major colleges?

Let’s look at the example of Devin Bush, Sr., who played in college at Florida State, went on to an NFL career, and then won a couple state championships at Pembroke Pines (FL) Flanagan. He had high-level prospects – even if you don’t count his son – like Devin Gil, Josh Metellus, and Stanford Samuels III on his roster who were being collectively recruited by a huge number of FBS schools. If legislation had been in place, he would have been banned from being hired by almost any FBS school, simply because of whom he knows. Not only does that seem un-American, it also discourages upward mobility and prevents qualified people from getting jobs that suit their skills.

Of course, the opposite end is that it prevents schools from handing out money to unqualified people, but there’s only so much you can do to prevent institutions from making bad hires. If a school wants to spend $80,000 a year for some unqualified schmuck to be an “adviser,” then they have to answer to the taxpayers, regents, donors, etc. I don’t think this will come to fruition at any point, because the NCAA already has too much to do and not enough manpower or time to do it. They can’t handle another whole universe of potential violations to investigate. But it’s interesting that some schools are bemoaning the hiring practices of other schools when it comes to athletics, while many schools offer free tuition to the children of professors. An engineer with a college-aged son can get hired as a professor and see his son get an engineering degree for free, but a football coach with a college-aged son shouldn’t be able to get hired at all if his son happens to be good at football, too.

14Jun 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #73 Devin Gil

L to R: Josh Metellus, Devin Gil, Dredrick Snelson, Devin Bush, Nick Eubanks (image via Twitter)

Name: Devin Gil
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 230 lbs.
High school: Pembroke Pines (FL) Flanagan
Position: Linebacker
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #36
Last year: I ranked Gil #87 and said he would redshirt. He made 6 tackles and 1 tackle for loss.
TTB Rating: 63

I thought Gil, who played a lot of safety in high school, would take a year to redshirt and learn a new position. But Jim Harbaugh and his staff don’t waste any time getting guys on the field. According to MGoBlue, Gil was Scout Team Special Teams Player of the Week three times throughout the season, and 4 of his 6 tackles came on specials.

This spring Gli was behind the starting crew, at least, and rumors coming out of Schembechler Hall suggest that the coaching staff is looking to have a couple freshmen play some snaps at linebacker. I think Gil will continue to be a special teams player and get limited snaps at linebacker.

Prediction: Backup linebacker and special teamer

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