Los Lunas (N.M.) running back O'Maury Samuels burst on the national recruiting scene last spring with an extremely impressive showing at the Nike Opening Regional in Dallas. Now the Wolverine commit is looking to show that performance was no fluke at The Opening Finals this week, and that Michigan was indeed the right choice by taking visits later this summer.
The Opening Finals at Nike’s World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon will take place later this week and Los Lunas (N.M.) running back O’Maury Samuels is ready to go defend the top overall ratings mark he set at the Nike Opening Regional in Dallas back in March. Despite nursing a hamstring injury he’d sustained three weeks prior, the Michigan commit ran a 4.48. forty, 4.14 shuttle, vertical jumped 44.5 inches and tossed the powerball 43 feet for an overall rating of 142.41. That composite score narrowly edged out the 141.33 registered by 5-star Clinton (Miss.) running back Cam Akers.
For Samuels the last few months have been about getting healthy for this moment.
"Since The Opening (Regional in Dallas) he hasn't been doing any organized (football camps or combines),” Samuels’ father reported. “He's been staying in the gym doing his conditioning. He took this weekend off and went to Colorado with a buddy of his… they have a place up there. (He wanted to) just relax this weekend because every week he's been grinding. If he's not rehabbing he's working out. If he's not working out, he's rehabbing. That's pretty much all he's been doing. He has avoided any activities like 7-on-7's and stuff."
He won’t be avoiding 7-on-7 at The Opening though. That part of the competition will take place during the final two days in Oregon and Samuels will be on a team with fellow Michigan pledges Dylan McCaffrey, Josh Ross, Benjamin St. Juste, and A.J. Dillon. The quintet will likely spend time courting other Wolverine targets, but will also undoubtedly strengthen their own bonds with one another. In Samuels’ case that could be another anchor to a commitment that he hasn’t second-guessed, but that other programs continue to try to undo.
“He went to USC and went on an unofficial (in May),” said Mr. Samuels. “I was working in that area, so I took him with me. They've been communicating with him. Coach Wheatley is aware of that. "
“More than likely we will take a couple (more) unofficials, I'm not sure about officials. The only unofficials he will be taking are to those who have shown him interest by way of making offers.”
"I don't want to put words in his mouth but I do know Arizona… they're one of the (schools) that came to visit. I think he wants to get to (Oklahoma). TCU (also). These places we're talking about are geographically not a hardship for us to get to. I'm not sure of any others. I think those three, the coaches have still had a dialogue with him even after his commitment. Some of (the schools) slowed down quite a bit, others just stopped totally. These three that I've mentioned have still been going hard at him."
The Wolverines, however, haves gone at him the hardest. That Michigan was the first Power Five school to offer the four-star standout and that carries a lot of weight. According to dad, so too does his word.
Said Mr. Samuels, “I wanted him to hold off on a commitment, but I told him, ‘look, we aren't going to be playing games. You're not going to be playing with people. If you make a commitment, unless something drastic happens, you need to honor that commitment.’ I think that's where he's still at. I think he wants to make sure he's making the right decision. He talked to Coach Wheatley about it and Coach Wheatley let his son do the same thing. I'm going to guide him, but I won't try to (force) him to do anything. I'm (also) not going to let him make a boneheaded decision."