2017 Season Countdown: #72 O’Maury Samuels

2017 Season Countdown: #72 O’Maury Samuels

June 15, 2017

(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


  1. JC
    Comments: 313
    Joined: 8/17/2015
    Jun 15, 2017 at 10:31 AM

    Samuels looks like a beast in that photo.

    11.22 is not a great high school 100. It’s upper-tier for high school, but he’s not going to be a burner in college with that speed. The 4.58 40 reemphasizes that. When I ran track in high school we had one sub 11 kid, and a handful of 11.0 through 11.3 kids.

    Straightline speed isn’t all that matters, but the more I watch his tape, I don’t see a lot of shiftyness in his game either. Vision looks to be good, he’s making smart decisions, but I don’t feel he’s going to be Jabrill-lite at RB.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Jun 15, 2017 at 11:55 AM

      The lack of offers is a bit of a red flag but the SPARQ score is encouraging.

      Samuels seems like the kind of high-ceiling/low-floor prospect that is worth red-shirting. It just doesn’t make sense with RBs unless something goes wrong or you have a stable ahead of him.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1357
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      Jun 15, 2017 at 12:56 PM

      I watched his film again only because you mentioned it.

      Samuels is very odd as an athlete to my way of thinking. He is exceptionally quick and wonderfully explosive in every direction from a standstill and just flat out has the ability to disappear out from in front of you and then reappear over there about three yards out of your reach. But when he gets his wheels going, he’ll about fall down trying a cut more challenging than simply bending away.

      And I have to agree with you that he really does read the field at a very high level … sort of the anti DeVeon Smith … and faster.

      I find this kid to be very interesting as an athlete.

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    Jun 15, 2017 at 10:59 AM

    Give this young man an OL, and anything can happen!

    *well, give pretty much any RB a solid OL… Ugh, I hate that every year my biggest concern is OL!

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Jun 15, 2017 at 11:43 AM


  3. Lanknows
    Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Jun 15, 2017 at 11:43 AM

    Given his physical development and the fact he’s a RB makes a red-shirt pretty unlikely to me, even if the depth chart allows for it. While there is decent experience back there, and we have plenty of minimally qualified options, and a lot of highly rated recruits, the only guy who looks like a standout is Chris Evans. I don’t see anybody else holding Samuels back.

    I do agree that Samuels will start behind Evans, Higdon, Isaac, and Walker – I just don’t see most of them as major obstacles for a guy who may have elite athleticism. Whenever I hear about low level of competition, it’s hard to not to recall Mike Hart.

    He probably won’t be the between-the-tackles complement to Evans, but I think he has a very good shot of being the #3 back. If Isaac or Walker put it all together they could hold him off. I also think Kurt Taylor could be a factor as well. Still, I think Samuels is likely to emerge into the RB rotation and get meaningful carries.

    Because of the depth it’s hard to rank any of the backup RB very highly. Michigan has a lot of options. Too many options.

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