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Insider

Ohio State picks up commitment No. 17

8/21/2013

Urban Meyer loves speed. He just can’t help himself.

What the two-time national champion picked up on Friday, when four-star athlete Curtis Samuel (Brooklyn, N.Y./Erasmus) became Ohio State’s 17th commitment in the 2014 class, will have Meyer smiling for the next four years. Erasmus assistant coach Ray Lizzi confirmed the commitment.

Samuel loved the fact Meyer compared him to Percy Harvin. A clich├ęd assessment at times, but this one might be a little more on point than comparisons in the past.

Samuel wowed those at The Opening in July when he ran a 4.36-second 40-yard dash.

“I don’t think you can teach this kind of speed,” Erasmus assistant coach Ray Lizzi said. “We make it mandatory that our skill positions run indoor and outdoor track. He broke the record for the 55-meter (6.38) the second week in and was second nationally. The guy that beat him wasn’t a football player; he was a track star.

“He’s like a glitch in a video game. He creates big plays. You just can’t teach that. It gives you all the advantage in the world. He’s got SEC speed and he’s bringing it to the Big Ten.”

One of now a nation-high 11 Buckeyes commitments who participated at the star-studded event, Samuel might have performed the best among Ohio State pledges -- along with wide receiver Terry McLaurin -- with a 40.7-inch vertical jump as well.

It’s no secret at all that Meyer loves to spread his receivers out and look for mismatches. He did that last season and it produced an undefeated first season in Columbus. Meyer will definitely do it this season as well with a stable of speedsters at his disposal.

As for the future, with Samuel in the fold, expect much more of the same.

With Corey Brown and Chris Fields lost to graduation and the possibility of Devin Smith going pro following his junior season, the addition of another wide receiver helps.

Even if Smith were to leave, it wouldn’t hurt as much as Samuel has the playmaking skills to step right in and crack the depth chart as a freshman.

With Samuel’s speed, it would be a nightmare matchup for opponents as Meyer could trot out the likes of James Clark, Dontre Wilson, Jalin Marshall and Corey Smith alongside the New York standout.

With Parris Campbell Jr. possibly as a slot receiver and McLaurin and Lonnie Johnson also in the 2014 class, it gives Ohio State speed to burn.

“That quarterback playing with them will be lucky,” Lizzi said with a laugh. “They have some toys to play with. That’s going to be a very special and gifted offensive group.”

If the Buckeyes can avoid transfers and keep the core of this unit together, it could be a wide receiver position that is talked about for years to come.

But it’s more than that.

His build is perfect for the slot and his off-the-snap quickness makes him a concern for defenses right way.

A slasher, his decisiveness makes him a threat immediately. With the ability to make the first defender miss and the future at wide receiver, the Buckeyes picked up a viable weapon for the offense.