College football: Ohio State gets pledge from New York speedster

By The Columbus Dispatch  • 
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Ohio State’s determination to add speed to its football program paid off yesterday when it got a commitment from New York hybrid back Curtis Samuel.

The 5-foot-11, 186-pound Samuel is the 17th member of the Buckeyes’ 2014 recruiting class.

Samuel is ranked 116th nationally by Rivals.com. He has been timed in the 40-yard dash at 4.36 seconds.

Ray Lizzi, his position coach at Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, said that Samuel broke the school record in the 60-yard dash despite having no experience in track.

“He finished nationally with a 6.42 (seconds), and that was without (starting) blocks,” Lizzi said.

Lizzi said that Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer recruited Samuel personally, pledging to have him play the slot position made famous by Percy Harvin at Florida. That’s how Samuel is used at Erasmus.

Samuel ran for 1,047 yards last year, averaging 11.5 yards per carry. He caught 12 passes for 187 yards.

“I think day one is when Curtis is going to contribute at Ohio State,” Lizzi said.

brabinowitz@dispatch.com

@brdispatch

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