Official Visit Preview: Colin Samuel

Jan. 28 -- Four-star defensive back Colin Samuel could compete for playing time as early as this year...

Colin Samuel (6'2, 175)
Long Beach (Calif.) Poly
No. 37 CB

Introduction: Anyone who watched UCLA's bowl performance against Kansas State knows how imperative it is that UCLA get recruit some elite talent to handle the cornerback positions. If the Bruins are going to have an aggressive defense that blitzes frequently, UCLA's corners will need to become much more comfortable in man coverage. Demetrice Martin is certainly restocking the depth chart in the 2015 class, with commitments already from four defensive backs, with two potentially on the way. Colin Samuel was one of the fastest rising prospects in the West during his senior year, when he improved a great deal as a prospect.

Recruitment: Samuel committed to UCLA on Dec. 9th, shortly after his senior season concluded and just three weeks after the Bruins came through with an offer. His stock skyrocketed during the last month of the season and during the playoffs. He's been solid since then, but this week, Jim Harbaugh and Michigan came calling. After a visit at his school, there were some rumblings that Samuel might ditch his UCLA official visit to take an official visit to Michigan. He squashed those rumors Monday night, though, saying that it would have caused needless worry for the UCLA coaches if he were to take a visit to a school he really had no intention of attending. Unless something really crazy happens over the next week, he'll be a Bruin on Signing Day.

Evaluation: Samuel is a long, athletic corner who moves really well despite his height. We often have trepidation about taller corners and their ability to keep up with the quickness and speed of many Pac-12 receivers, but Samuel has the athleticism to play at that size. He's still a little raw in his technique, but he's shown good physicality at the high school level along with good instincts in run support. His hands aren't great at this point, so he wouldn't be a ball hawk early in his career, but he should factor into the competition at cornerback almost immediately. While the starting cornerback jobs have incumbents at both spots, there's plenty of room in the rotation for a player as talented as Samuel, and it'll just be a question of how quickly he can get used to the speed of the game in fall camp and to start the season.


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