Washington Soccer Group indicators versatile, speedy vast receiver Curtis Samuel

The addition was welcome information to McLaurin. Not solely will he most likely see much less double and bracket protection from defenses, however the transfer reunites him with an outdated good friend. McLaurin and Samuel had been members of Ohio State’s 2014 recruiting class, and although Samuel left in 2017, two years sooner than McLaurin, the pair remained involved. They swapped jerseys after a Washington win over Carolina in 2019.

“We actually talked about this within the dorms freshman 12 months,” McLaurin wrote on Twitter shortly after the signing.

Past pace, Samuel brings the positional flexibility this teaching workers prizes. He has lined up in all places — outdoors, within the slot, within the backfield — and his 330 speeding yards and 16 missed tackles compelled on runs since 2019 are probably the most amongst vast receivers, in line with Professional Soccer Focus.

The addition of Samuel places Turner one step nearer to his objective of getting 5 versatile talent gamers on the sphere without delay. The group started constructing towards that final season by signing all-around operating again J.D. McKissic, growing former vast receiver Antonio Gibson as a operating again and utilizing McLaurin within the backfield on a handful of snaps. Turner now can use presnap movement and completely different personnel seems to be to extra successfully exploit holes in defenses, although the group might additionally use one other pass-catching tight finish to enrich Logan Thomas.

“Yessir bro bro,” defensive finish and fellow Ohio State alum Chase Younger added on Instagram.

Samuel might spend extra time within the slot than wherever else. Washington obtained little manufacturing from the place final season whereas Samuel posted profession bests in receptions (77) and receiving yards (851) whereas lining up within the slot 60 % of the time, in line with Professional Soccer Focus. However he additionally has familiarity on the surface; in 2019, when Turner and his father, Norv, had been with the Panthers, Samuel lined up within the slot solely 31 % of the time.

Wherever the group makes use of him, Samuel affords explosiveness as a gadget the offense lacked final season. The group’s passing yards (216.6) and factors per sport (20.9) had been among the many lowest within the NFL. Coach Ron Rivera even acknowledged his vast receivers’ limitations early final 12 months, saying the offense most likely wouldn’t look how the coaches wished it to till 2021.

By subsequent season, the vast receiver group can have undergone a modest makeover. New place coach Drew Terrell changed Jim Hostler, who was promoted to senior offensive assistant, and the group can have Samuel in addition to Kelvin Harmon, who is predicted to return after lacking final season with a torn ACL. These two must be complemented by a bunch that features McLaurin, Antonio Gandy-Golden, Steven Sims Jr., Isaiah Wright and Cam Sims, a restricted free agent the group tendered Tuesday. In late December, Rivera praised the progress of the younger group.

“[The development] has been very pleasing simply due to the truth that we had been involved [earlier in the year], clearly, as a result of this was a really younger group. A really younger group,” he stated. “They’ve finished nothing however get higher.”

Past the sphere, this helps place Washington for April’s draft. The group has 4 picks within the first three rounds and may give attention to different positions of want, akin to linebacker, quarterback, tight finish or offensive line. Washington additionally might look so as to add these positions — or cornerback depth or a free security — as free company goes on.

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