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Five things to know about Curtis Samuel
April 29, 2017 01:00 AM | Bryan Strickland
1. Under the radar but off the charts: Once Washington wide receiver John Ross recorded the fastest 40 time in NFL Scouting Combine history (4.22 seconds), the outpouring of reaction rendered subsequent 40 times moot. So, if you blinked, you may have missed what Samuel did.

Literally just a handful of minutes after Ross' run, Samuel posted a 4.31 time. That's tied for the 12th-fastest time since the combine started keeping track of such things in 2006. Over those 12 years, just six wide receivers have run faster.

2. And he's got hops: Samuel is built like your prototypical slot receiver, but that doesn't mean he can't go up and get the ball versus a big defensive back. Samuel's 37-inch vertical leap at the combine tied for the fifth-best among wide receivers, and there's plenty of footage in social media circles to show how the 5-foot-11 Samuel can convert that to a playing surface.

So sure, that was on a basketball court, but now you know he can slam-dunk the ball over the goal post ala Jimmy Graham if the NFL again allows such things next season.

3. He made his mark against Michigan: Samuel made it clear the Panthers see him as a slot receiver first but also said he might line up in the backfield on occasion. His most memorable play in college came from the backfield, when he darted his way into the end zone in the second overtime of this past season's Ohio State-Michigan game to win it for the Buckeyes and propel them into the College Football Playoff.

4. He made his mark in the record books: Still doubt his versatility? Don't. Samuel is the only player in Ohio State's decorated history to top 1,000 yards receiving and 1,000 yards rushing in his career. He started out as a running back in 2014 but moved to an H-back role the next year when Ezekiel Elliott became the Buckeyes' bellcow. With Elliott off the NFL last season, Samuel still played H-back but also topped 700 rushing yards, finishing his three-year career with 1,286 rushing yards and 1,249 receiving yards.

5. He'll carry on a Panthers tradition: Samuel is set to become the 19th Ohio State product to suit up for Carolina, and the Panthers believe he has a chance to be among the most productive. The current roster features safety/Buckeyes cheerleader Kurt Coleman as well as starting guard Andrew Norwell. Ted Ginn, Jr. and Philly Brown were wide receivers of significance for the Panthers the last couple of years, but probably the biggest Buckeyes contributor to date is retired cornerback Chris Gamble, who holds the franchise's all-time record for interceptions with 27.

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