Los Lunas (NM) Los Lunas running back O’Maury Samuels committed to Michigan on Sunday. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Arizona and TCU, among others.
Samuels is listed at 5’11”, 190 lbs. He was recently invited to The Opening after the regional in Dallas, where he took the national lead in SPARQ rating with a score of 138.3. He ran a 4.58 forty and a 4.14 shuttle, and he showed off a 44.5″ vertical. As a junior in 2015, he ran 185 times for 1,468 yards (7.9 yards/carry) and 21 TDs; he also caught 8 passes for 92 yards and 2 TDs.
Scout: 4-star, #23 RB
247 Sports: 3-star, 89 grade, #25 RB, #338 overall
Hit the jump for more on Samuels’s commitment.
Samuels had a couple regional offers before Michigan stepped forward several weeks ago with an offer. Some decent offers came in after the Wolverines’, but none on the level of Michigan. He quickly scheduled a visit to Ann Arbor and reportedly was close to committing on the trip. Shortly after returning home, he went ahead and announced.
Well built for the position, Samuels has a solid frame but probably won’t turn into a big, 230 lb. bruiser. He’s a slashing runner with good change-of-direction skills, and he accelerates well into and out of his cuts. He claims his laser-timed 4.58 was slow, but regardless, he appears to have good straight-line speed. He carries the ball high and tight, which should help him prevent fumbles.
He does tend to carry the ball in his right hand even when going left, so he will have to work on breaking that habit to avoid turnovers. It also might be an adjustment going from New Mexico to Michigan, where the competition level will take a huge leap forward. New Mexicans aren’t known for their football prowess, and not many elite football players come from the state, although Michigan did also take QB Zach Gentry in the 2015 class.
Overall, I have been waiting for a back like Samuels for a long time. He’s the type of quick, speedy, strong, instinctive runner that Michigan has not been able to successfully recruit since Fitzgerald Toussaint in 2009. It’s always hard to judge players against poor competition, but I think this is a very solid pickup for the Wolverines. He offers a little extra zip that A.J. Dillon and Kurt Taylor lack, although both of those players can certainly find a role in Jim Harbaugh’s offense.
Michigan is now up to 11 commits in the 2017 class. Adding in the two aforementioned backs, the Wolverines have three tailbacks, plus fullback Chase Lasater. They are probably done recruiting the running back position.
TTB Rating: 88
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