Things are just beginning to develop for 2012 WR Samson Baldwin of J.L. Mann High School. Just completing his sophomore season Baldwin was one of the Patriots' top receivers. We caught wind of Baldwin towards the end of the season and received his highlights a week ago. After reviewing that film we knew then that we had our latest player to be featured in our "UP NEXT" series.
A few weeks ago Baldwin went to Schuman's National Underclassmen Combine in Atlanta to see where he stands with the region's other top prospects. His results? Baldwin came away with the wide receiver MVP award from the event and caught the eye of Scout.com Southeast Region Analyst/Manager Chad Simmons.
He had the following to say about Baldwin and his performance there in Atlanta.
"Samson Baldwin was the top overall wide receiver on Saturday. He is built more like an inside receiver, but he had success both inside and outside in this event. He will be a Division I recruit in the class of 2012."
Baldwin's success at the event came somewhat as a surprise to the 2012 standout.
"It felt really good to win MVP. It was my first ever combine so I didn't really know what to expect." Baldwin was subsequently also invited to the National Underclassmen Combine Ultimate 100 camp.
Considering that fact expect Baldwin to continue to up the ante in regards to testing as he becomes more familiar and starts working out in specific areas to bolster his times.
Still fairly new to the recruiting world Baldwin has yet to hear from any schools he says but he already has some that he'd like to be in contact with in the very near future.
Given his rise over the course of his sophomore season Baldwin says that the games against Mauldin and Union County were probably his two best performances of the season. He saw many top teams this season but he felt that the Greenville Red Raiders and South Pointe Stallions posed the toughest matchup he saw.
"Greenville High's defensive backs were tough. They are really good, playing together, and swarming the ball everytime. South Pointe was really physical. They didn't have many holes in their defense."
He remains hungry to continue his rise on the field and in the eyes of college coaches. In order to improve Baldwin says he'll be working hard on many aspects of his game but there are some specific areas that he'll put a tad more focus on.
"I want to work on being more consistent, running every route full speed, and just being more physical in general."
"I think my burst off the line, my catching ability, and making people miss after the catch are my biggest strengths."
After watching his film and speaking with Baldwin we verified exactly what his strengths were. In fact, watching his film he reminded us of 2010 Byrnes WR Nick Jones with his skill set. Baldwin is already a few inches taller than Jones but has the knack to make people miss in the open field after securing the catch. He's got the same thick build to his frame that Jones has.
Looking ahead to next season the 2012 prospect has already started to set some goals for himself on a personal level.
"I don't want to have more than five drops for the entire season. I would also love for my team to beat some of the bigger schools we're going to be playing moving to AAAA now."
The hunger to improve already has the J.L. Mann standout starting to make himself a student of the game by watching film and following workouts of some of the game's top wide receivers from the NFL.
Stay tuned to SCPrepNation.com for more updates about the fast rising Samson Baldwin. We'll also have a FREE photo gallery of Baldwin as well as his sophomore video highlights courtesy of SCPrepNationTV within the next 24 hours.
Inside The Numbers...Samson Baldwin
Bench press max: 215 pounds
Squat max: 365 pounds
Fastest 40 time: 4.7 seconds
Pro Shuttle: 4.4 seconds
Following this interview Baldwin participated in his second combine at a Nike sponsored event. Check out some of his times and remarks following the event.
"Almost everything improved a lot for me at the Nike combine. My vertical went up 4.4 inches and is now at 34.9". My shuttle time improved by 0.21 seconds and now is at 4.19 seconds. I also did the kneeling powerball toss for the first time and threw it 34.5 feet."
Asked if his measurables caught him off guard at the Nike event he quickly replied, "Yes I was very surprised. I have never had any speed work or anything and this was my first time doing some of the drills. The coaches there told me I was putting up good numbers."
"I'm trying to put in as much work as I can. Right now I'm working the most to improve my 40 time."
Baldwin says he does't have any events scheduled in the near future but you can expect his name to pop up on invite lists for many schools and combines very soon.