When I thought of writing this post, I knew it was going to be similar to several other posts people would write on Richard Samuel, but maybe I have a little different perspective than all of the others. If you haven't heard, Mark Richt officially announced Wednesday what many knowledgeable fans have hoped for since Samuel signed to play with the Dawgs; #22 is going to make the jump from tailback to linebacker!
Anyone that knew about Samuel coming out of high school was surely aware of the fact that he was a dominating defensive & offensive player while at Cass High. I had the pleasure of scouting against Samuel when he was a senior. When I was coaching football at Gainesville High School, we knew we were going to play either Cass or Carrollton in the first round of the state playoffs, so I watched a ton of film in which Samuel was starring.
Any coach/fan/person could see about 15 minutes into a film involving Cass that Richard Samuel was the heart and soul of that football team. I remember thinking to myself "without that Samuel kid, we would destroy this team". The reason I am so excited about Samuel moving to linebacker is because of all those games I watched with him dominating. Yes, he was an impressive tailback, but his instinct and ability on the defensive side of the ball was unmatched by any linebacker I had seen play that year, and he was maybe even one of the best high school linebackers I have ever seen in person.
I remember the first time I heard that he was going to be playing running back at UGA, and I was a little sad at the loss we would be taking by not having him line up at linebacker. Now, I am not saying he was a bad running back, but at linebacker, I think the guy has the potential to be an All-SEC or even an All-American.
Maybe I am wrong, only time will tell. While you are thinking about this change of position for Samuel, keep in mind that the kid was only 17 when he started playing for the Dawgs. I'm sure his physical maturation will only enhance those God given talents!