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Monday, March 26, 2012
Watch List WR Samples out 3-4 months

By Damon Sayles

Dallas Skyline ESPNU Watch List wide receiver Ra'Shaad Samples said Monday that he suffered a small fracture in his left fibula during a one-on-one drill at Sunday’s Nike Football Training Camp at the Dallas Cowboys practice facility in Irving, Texas.

Samples, a 2013 Under Armour All-American, said doctors found a small break and a stretch of his tibia but found no ligament damage. He is expected to miss 3-4 months, but took consolation in the fact his ligaments were in good shape. Ligament damage could have put him out for an extended period and was speculated to jeopardize a portion of his senior year.

“I’m doing all right,” Samples said. “I left the doctor’s office with a cast on. I won’t have to get a plate or anything. I plan to start rehab in about four or five weeks.”

Samples suffered the injury after landing awkwardly during a receiver-defensive back drill at the camp. In trying to make a play, Samples jumped against a defender, but the defender pulled him down to where he landed improperly on his ankle.

“People say it looked bad, but it wasn’t as bad as it may have looked,” Samples said. “Most of the time, I didn’t really feel the pain, but I knew something had happened. I felt a throbbing sensation, but I didn’t feel any sharp pain. I guess my adrenaline was flowing, and by the time the pain was supposed to hit, I was already on meds.”

Injuries to the lower left leg aren’t uncommon to Samples. As a sophomore, he broke the fibula, tibia and ankle bone in the leg.

After rigorous rehab sessions, Samples said his flexibility and his speed had improved. His 40-yard dash time from 4.6 seconds to 4.4 seconds, and his lateral movement was sharper.

“I rehab really hard,” Samples said. “I actually came back with more range of motion on my broken ankle than the other one. I had more mobility because I did so much in rehab. It worked out for the best.”

Samples is entertaining offers from 33 schools, including Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Cal, UCLA, USC, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and in-state schools Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor and Texas Tech.

Samples said the injury shouldn’t play a major role in his recruiting process. He has plans to visit Texas Tech again and USC later in the spring or summer. He also would like to visit Ohio State, Notre Dame and Cal, in addition to other schools.

A 5-foot-11, 170-pound receiver, Samples caught 65 passes for 1,369 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2011 and was instrumental in helping Skyline advance to the Texas Class 5A Division I state semifinals.