Thursday, March 7, 2013
Samuel talks Boise State, new hybrid role
By Damon Sayles
All throughout his junior year, Kennan Samuel (McKinney, Texas/McKinney) worked hard to be the best defensive end he could be. Now that the offseason’s here, Samuel’s goal is clear -- to become the best at his natural position.
At 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, Samuel is built more like a linebacker, and he’s focused his attention on becoming the best hybrid defensive end/linebacker possible in time for the 2013 season. He honed his linebacker skills at last week’s Next Level Athlete North DFW Video Showcase, and he’s preparing for major upcoming events, including the Dallas Nike Football Training Camp next month.
“I’m still working on my quickness and my speed and keeping my hands up,” Samuel said. “I’m working on changing my hips, too. Changing direction is important at linebacker.”
Samuel was a second-team, all-district selection at defensive end this past season, but he could see significant time as an outside linebacker as a senior. He said he’s being recruited by several schools as a linebacker. While he still looks for his first offer, Samuel has considerable interest from Boise State, Arizona State, Iowa, Mississippi State and Missouri.
Samuel said Boise State has been the most interested of the schools.
“Boise State stopped by the school and talked to my coach not long ago,” Samuel said. “I don’t have an offer, but Boise could be my first. I’ll just keep working, and we’ll see what happens from there.”
Whoever gets Samuel will pick up a player who enjoys being the Jekyll-and-Hyde type of person. On the field, he’s a nice person who likes being around people. He’s someone who doesn’t get into trouble and looks to surround himself with like-minded, goal-oriented people.
“On the field,” Samuel said, “I know I have to come out with an attitude. Everyone comes out with the same goal of winning, and I want it too, but it’s all about who wants it bad enough. I have to be ready to compete every time.
“Now is especially important for me. I’m learning to play a different position. I’ve got to have good drills and good technique. In open space, you’ve got to move a lot quicker as a linebacker and keep your head on a swivel. That’s what I’ve been working on.”