Samuels: "I Love The Wolfpack Family"

SALISBURY, N.C. -- NC State commitment Jaylen Samuels played a big role in Mallard Creek winning the Catawba 7-on-7 Tournament.

NC State commitment Jaylen Samuels played a big role in Mallard Creek winning the Catawba 7-on-7 Tournament.

"We feel great about winning it," said Samuels. "I think we played as a team. We lost the Panthers 7-on-7 by falling apart late, so I think winning the Catawba really makes us better as a unit.

"But, we do know it's just a 7-on-7 and not a real game so we can't take too much away from it."

Often lining up in the slot, Samuels created a mismatch for bigger defenders with his speed and used his 6-foot, 225-pound frame to out-physical smaller opponents off the line of scrimmage.

"My coach has been telling all of us that we have to step up and be physical," he said. "I like to be physical regardless because I like to get yards after the catch. I feel like when someone presses me I know I can get past them."

Mallard Creek won the event by defeating High Point (NC) Central in the finals. Central, the event's No. 1 seed, was led by another NC State commitment, safety/linebacker Germaine Pratt.

"He's a great player," Samuels said of Pratt. "He's going to be good for us. He's real physical, and he has good height. He was bigger than I thought he would be. He has great speed too."

Samuels had a breakout junior season for Mallard Creek. He finished the year with 45 catches for 1,021 yards and 12 touchdowns, leading a team in receiving that included elite prospect Marquez North.

The Mallard Creek coaches lined Samuels up all over the field, as he played tailback, slotback, H-back, tight end, and even linebacker.

"I'm going to line up everywhere again this year," said Samuels. "I'm going to play some running back, and I'm going to play linebacker too.

"I would have played defense in this 7-on-7 but we were taking it easy because I recently sprained my knee. The coaches wanted me to take it easy and just play offense, but once the season starts I'll play defense too."

According to Samuels, NC State's coaching staff already knows where he will fit in for the Wolfpack.

"They want to play me what they call the 'F' position," he said. "They told me it is a H-back that they move around a lot in motion or in the backfield or slot. It's really similar to what I do know at Mallard Creek. That's the good thing about it."

Samuels stays in contact with several of the other 2014 commitments through social media.

"We've all been hitting each other up on Twitter," he stated. "We've been getting phone numbers and trying to get to know each other before we get to State so we can be more comfortable with each other."

As for his decision, he remains firmly committed to the Wolfpack.

"I love it," he said. "I love the Wolfpack family, and I think it was the perfect decision for me and my family. I'm going to try and get to all the home games this year. I can't wait to see them play."

Samuels originally picked NC State over offers from Ball State, East Carolina, Charlotte and several other programs.

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