September 16, 2017
South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel suffered a broken leg that will end his season, according to David Cloninger of the Post and Courier.
Samuel left in the second half of South Carolina’s 23-13 loss to Kentucky on Saturday. He had five catches for 122 yards and a touchdown.
In three games this season, Samuel had accumulated 15 passes for 250 yards and three receiving touchdowns. He also had a rushing score and two kick-return touchdowns.
“He’s going to be part of everything we do,” quarterback Jake Bentley said of Samuel’s loss, per Cloninger. “Not sure what we’ll do schematically, but it’ll be next guy up in whatever we do.”
Samuel was indeed a huge part of the offense and, as Cloninger noted, “had scored 12 touchdowns in his last six games, finally healthy after two years of fighting hamstring pulls.”
When healthy, he also possesses NFL talent. Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer broke down his skill set in early September:
“It’s a prerequisite to being an NFL wide receiver that you run routes dependably and catch balls in your catch radius. The premium comes when a wide receiver has the strength and moves to morph into a running back once he secures the catch.
“Samuel is that guy. He might not have to pure athleticism of, say, former Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins, but he inspires the same imagination from offensive coordinators. As in, find a way to isolate him on one defensive back, and watch the havoc that ensues.”
South Carolina will now be without that havoc, a major blow for the 2-1 Gamecocks.
“He’s an outstanding teammate and an outstanding friend,” Bentley added, per Dwayne McLemore of The State. “He’s going to be hard to replace.”
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