Samuels Making the Right Moves

Kyron Samuels discusses his camp visit to Auburn along with his recruiting and work at center.

Fairhope, Ala.--Fairhope High School's Kyron Samuels was one of the top offensive linemen in the state as a junior, and all he's done since then is work to get better.

Samuels camped at Mississippi State and Alabama earlier this summer, and he also competed at Auburn's senior one-day camp.

"Everything went well," Samuels says. "It was actually my second time to go to Auburn so I was glad to get back. I had some great competition at the camp. There were a lot of guys getting after it, and that's what I liked the most.

"I got some great coaching from Coach (Jeff) Grimes, and I really took that to heart," he says. "I'm going to use a lot of stuff that he taught me back at my high school at Fairhope.

"A lot of the stuff that he talked about was hip flexion," Samuels adds of Auburn's offensive line coach. "I didn't know that was as big a part of playing O-line until the camp. He just taught me a lot of technique, how to explode out of my hips and how to drive through guys in the run game."

Samuels played guard last season but made the move to center this spring to attract college recruiters. He checked in at a solid 297 pounds for the Auburn camp, but his 6-foot-1 frame has turned away some schools even though both Alabama and Auburn have won national championships with a center his size the last two seasons.

Samuels ran a 5.25 40-yard dash, but it was one of the top times among offensive linemen on a slow surface.

"I made the transition to center this spring and played against Hoover in the spring game," Samuels notes. "The transition is going well and I made the transition pretty easy.

"I like playing center. It's just a matter of getting reps. I think that's the hardest part of making any position change--just actually getting in there and doing it.

"The mental part was there, the physical things were there. It was just getting out there and getting reps and getting comfortable with my quarterback and getting comfortable snapping. Other than that it's been pretty easy. I've been trying to learn as much as I can and get better every day."

Samuels adds that he's welcomed the leadership role that comes along with being the man in the middle.

"It's not too much different except snapping because even at guard I made the calls for our linemen," he explains. "We had a younger center last year. It's a little different being in the middle and being able to see things better.

"Then away from the field, the center is the leader in the film room and in the weight room. He's that guy for the O-line. He's that quarterback that keeps everybody rallied together. That's probably the hardest part because the center is the leader for the offensive line."

The Fairhope offense features a handful of college prospects including offensive tackle Robert Leff, who also attended the Auburn camp, quarterback Chase Domino and receivers Lewis Hunter and Nathan Andrews. With talented teammates in the passing game, Samuels has had to spend a lot of time on the shotgun snap.

"It's probably 80/20--80 percent in the shotgun and 20 percent under center," Samuels says. "Inside the 20 we go under the center a lot, and we plan on scoring a lot of points. What makes it easy is that me and Chase Domino--he's a great quarterback--we'll get out there on a hot day and practice ourselves. We'll get out there and just snap. We'll get under center and in the shotgun. Working with him away from the team helps us out a lot more. Once we've gotten out there with the team we're good at it."

Samuels is the nephew of Chris Samuels, a former Outland Trophy winner at Alabama and 6-time Pro Bowler with the Washington Redskins at left tackle. He was hoping that the move to center would help him earn a scholarship offer to Alabama, but that hasn't happened yet. He camped in Tuscaloosa two weekends ago and left without an offer, but is keeping a positive attitude toward recruiting.

"I think the move (to center) will help because I'm a little height challenged," Samuels says. "I feel like I've got as much talent, if not more than any other guy who's 6-4 or 6-5. That helps a lot more with recruiting because they're not going to put a 6-2 guy out on the edge.

"I'm open right now to a lot of schools. I've got Louisville, Kentucky, Ole Miss, South Alabama, Northern Illinois, and a lot of other schools," he adds. "Those are probably the biggest offers though. I'm still taking all of them to heart though. I still have a lot of interest from Mississippi State, Alabama and Auburn. I'm just going to stay open with it. There's no leader, no top 5 or anything right now. I'm just open and I'm going to see which offers I get.

"If I get an offer I like and I feel like the right thing for me to do is to commit, then that's what I'm going to do," Samuels continues. "I'm not going to rush into anything. Whatever happens is going to happen. I think God is going to put me where he wants to put me anyway."

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