Jagoras Likes Blue-Collar Tag

Named for the strongest man in the Bible, CU's Samson Jagoras is atop the depth chart at fullback after sitting out a transfer year. Head coach Dan Hawkins recently called Jagoras a tough, blue-collar player, a label Jagoras takes pride in.

Samson Jagoras grew up in California and prepped at Arcadia High School in Arcadia, Calif., where he played fullback and linebacker. He then went to Western New Mexico University and played linebacker for two years, but wanted something more.

"It just came to a point where I wanted to go big or go home and I decided to follow my dreams that I'd pushed aside," Jagoras said. "I grew up watching Colorado football, so I decided I wanted to come here."

In late 2004, Jagoras asked one of his coaches back in California to call the CU coaching staff. Jagoras sent a tape and was invited to walk on to the team in spring 2005. That spring Jagoras practiced at linebacker. Then, last August — during two-a-days — former CU coach Gary Barnett asked Jagoras to move to fullback to fill a need. Jagoras, who had already gained a reputation among his CU teammates as a physical player, was up for the move.

"I was like, ‘Get in where you fit in,'" he said. "It's like playing linebacker on the offensive side of the ball. You get to hit people."

After sitting out the requisite transfer year, the 5-foot-10, 225-pound Jagoras is ready to vie for the starting fullback spot in the upcoming season (he's currently listed atop the depth chart at the position). He's also expected to be a big contributor on special teams, where he's working as the up man on the punt unit.

Asked about Jagoras (pronounced: juh-GOR-us), CU head coach Dan Hawkins said, "He's a very tough, blue-collar, smart guy. He'll do whatever it takes to help the team. He's kind of your classic fullback. I always joke with him because I was one too. You're basically just a blue-collar, take-it-for-the-team, block-for-the-superstar (guy). If the coaches are really, really nice, about five times a year they throw you a bone and let you touch the ball. That's the life of a fullback, but he's kind of embraced that. You've got to have a good one in our offense.

Here's what Jagoras had to say to BSN earlier this week:

BSN: I asked Coach Hawkins about you and he said you're the prototypical blue-collar type of worker. Is that the way you see your role?
Jagoras:
That means a lot coming from Hawk because I really look up to him as a coach. He definitely knows what he's talking about. If he sees me like that, then I guess I'm doing something right. Hopefully, I can leave that impression on everyone.

BSN: He said that's the kind of player he was in college.
Jagoras:
I can see that. We always talk about that. He did play fullback.

BSN: Do you have a sense yet of how the fullback is going to be used in this offense?
Jagoras:
This spring is basically our time to show what the fullback can be used for. Normally, coming from ASU where (offensive coordinator Mark) Helfrich came from, they didn't use a fullback. They used a tight end. But we're going to be used in a lot of short yardage (situations) and for a lot of north-south running. If we need the extra yard, or we need big plays, they're going to put fullbacks in there.

BSN: Playing behind Lawrence Vickers last year, what did you learn?
Jagoras:
It was a great experience. I love that guy. Him and Brendan Schaub are both great football players. Colorado's always had great fullbacks, from (George) Hemmingway to (Brandon) Drumm. I'm just trying to fall in that realm right there.

BSN: That's something I was going to ask. Vickers publicly compared you to Brandon Drumm one time.
Jagoras:
Well, Brandon Drumm was a great, great, great football player at CU. If I can do what he did – that's definitely what I'm going for.

BSN: Last thing, your name is kind of unique.
Jagoras:
Samson is right out of the Bible. My parents named me after Samson who was a strong guy in the Bible. My whole family has Christian/Catholic names.

BSN: What about Jagoras? What kind of name is that?
Jagoras:
It's Greek. My great-grandfather came over through Ellis Island.


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