COLUMBUS, Ohio – While it's impossible for a player to start at two positions on offense, the Ohio State coaching staff at least has enough respect for Curtis Samuel to still list the junior as a potential starter at both H-back and running back.
If redshirt-freshman Mike Weber gets the first snap at running back, Samuel will almost surely be on the field as an H-back. If senior Dontre Wilson is in at H, there's a good chance Samuel will be in the backfield. No matter where he is on the field, the Buckeyes have confidence in Samuel, who head coach Urban Meyer called the team's "No. 1 playmaker."
While he played mainly as a receiver last season, Samuel arrived in Columbus as a running back in 2014 and he even started a game at that spot for the eventual national champions. Heading into 2016, there have been plenty of questions about what position Samuel will play but no matter what, according to the player himself, the ball will be in his hands early and often.
"It don't really matter where I'm at on the field, whether it's at receiver or running back," Samuel said Wednesday. "I know the coaches are going to put the ball in my hands and I've just got to get my mind right to make those plays.
"I feel like I'm good in both (positions). I feel like with the skill sets and the talent I have I could do either one."
The Buckeyes' quarterback, J.T. Barrett, has plenty of confidence in Samuel as well. While he joked about not wanting to give away the game plan, Barrett confirmed that Samuel will be a feature player in the Buckeyes' offense, and touted his big-play ability.
"He's a very explosive, quick, change of direction type of guy. And he definitely has breakaway speed as well," Barrett said. "If you see the ball in his hands a lot, I'm here to tell you on a Wednesday that it wasn't a shocker."
The Buckeyes are set to open their 2016 season against Bowling Green on Saturday at noon at Ohio Stadium.