2018 Season Countdown: #64 O’Maury Samuels

2018 Season Countdown: #64 O’Maury Samuels

July 9, 2018

O’Maury Samuels (image via MWolverine)

Name: O’Maury Samuels
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 192 lbs.
High school: Los Lunas (NM) Los Lunas
Position: Running back
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #23
Last year: I ranked Samuels #72 and said he would be a backup running back (LINK). He ran the ball 8 times for 13 yards.
TTB Rating: 82

Samuels really had business wasting a redshirt last year on 8 carries in garbage time, but that’s the nature of the beast sometimes. Tru Wilson or Joe Hewlett or Kareem Walker or someone else could have taken those 8 carries with no issue, and now Samuels has just three years of eligibility remaining instead of four. His 1.6 yards per carry don’t look very appealing, but I go back to Karan Higdon’s 1.73 yards/carry in 2015 and shrug my shoulders.

Samuels was listed back in the spring as the #4 guy on the depth chart, behind Higdon, Chris Evans, and walk-on Tru Wilson (full disclosure: this list was made before Jim Harbaugh’s discussion of the depth chart and Kareem Walker’s departure). A minor injury may or may not have contributed to him being slotted at #4. The #4 guy last year (Walker) got 20 carries. Samuels will also have to fend off incoming freshman Christian Turner, whom I mentioned as a possible contributor as early as this year. I don’t see Samuels getting a lot of opportunities this season, and the backfield is getting crowded. He does have some serious speed, so hopefully he gets a chance to show it in the open field at some point, whether it’s in the passing game or on special teams.

Prediction: Backup running back


  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1364
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Jul 09, 2018 at 11:15 AM

    The backfield may be “crowded”, but we have only two guys on the roster with proven production, and basically everyone else is in the same place as far as competition for the #3 and #4 spots.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jul 09, 2018 at 12:30 PM

      Not many teams have more than two backs returning who have a lot of production.

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    Jul 09, 2018 at 12:16 PM

    I like the Higdon 2015 lookback, as I was far from impressed with Samuels last year. With Higdon it was falling (MSU) or getting swallowed behind an overpowered OL. Samuels however, almost looked scared – at least timid

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jul 09, 2018 at 12:34 PM

      For what it’s worth, I think Higdon was making a smaller transition to college as a freshman. He was coming from Florida, while Samuels was coming from New Mexico. Higdon was used to fighting for yardage, while Samuels was used to having lots of room to run. It doesn’t mean he can’t make the transition; I just think it’s natural to assume it will take a little longer to adjust.

      That being said, there has to be a reason the coaches picked Samuels to run the ball instead of the other options. They must have seen something in practice to help them believe in his ability over that of, say, Kurt Taylor or Joe Hewlett or Tru Wilson.

  3. JC
    Comments: 313
    Joined: 8/17/2015
    Jul 09, 2018 at 4:07 PM

    Samuels looks like the most muscular back we have on the roster, although Higdon appears to have bulked up a bit.

    As previously mentioned, ad nauseum probably at this point, I believe his high school 100m PR was 11.22. That’s not elite speed. That 4.58 is a pretty good 40, but I don’t know if I would call it elite.

    I was excited when Samuels was coming out of high school. Not because of elite speed, but because he has some shiftiness too him. When running, he picks up the yards that are available. He’s not going to be dancing around in the backfield.

    I don’t remember seeing him on the field at all last year, but I would love to see what he does with increased opportunities this year. After Higdon leaves we’re going to need a back to split carries with Evans.

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