The Top 11 Plays in Curtis Samuel's Ohio State Career

By Eric Seger on January 9, 2017 at 2:12 pm
A look back at Curtis Samuel's best 11 plays in an Ohio State uniform.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

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Curtis Samuel is the only player in the illustrious history of Ohio State football to record at least 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving.

The only other players to come close to that mark are Keith Byars, who finished with 3,200 rushing and 882 receiving yards, and Bo Rein, who tallied 929 receiving and 938 rushing yards. Samuel's career numbers are nothing short of spectacular thanks to a stellar junior season. He leaves Ohio State with 1,286 rushing yards and 1,249 receiving yards and 26 total touchdowns, completely recreating the "Percy Harvin" position into his own under Urban Meyer.

And now, all that production is gone. Samuel declared himself eligible for the 2017 NFL Draft on Monday, leaving the Buckeyes without their most explosive offensive weapon and most dynamic playmaker from a team that made it to the College Football Playoff.

Samuel's name and the plays he made will be part of Ohio State's highlight reels for years to come. But let's look back at his brilliant three-year career — which included the 2014 Big Ten and national championship, three wins over Michigan and a berth in the Playoff this year — with his best 11 plays. An honorable mention is Samuel's imitation of Mars Blackmon with Michael Jordan in their own rendition of the famous Nike commercial with Spike Lee and His Airness.

11. The Lone Clemson Highlight

Clemson waxed the Buckeyes in the College Football Playoff at the Fiesta Bowl. Nothing went right all night for a variety of reasons but for one brief moment, Ohio State fans had reason to cheer. The reason was Samuel and this electrifying run in the fourth quarter that shows the combination of speed and strength and will make him an intriguing prospect at the next level.

10. Samuel Breaks the Sparty Ice

As was often the case this season, Ohio State's offense stood stagnant against Michigan State in frigid East Lansing. Near the midway point of the first quarter and trailing 7-0, J.T. Barrett turned to Samuel who roasted the safety and made an easy touchdown grab. The Buckeyes went on to win 17-16.

9. Samuel Puts the Knights to Bed

Ohio State led lowly Rutgers 21-0 at halftime last season, Barrett's first start of the year. The odds the Scarlet Knights were going to mount a comeback were already slim but Samuel made sure they were zero with this 30-yard grab to cap a 76-yard scoring drive in under 2 minutes.

8. Shake and Bake, Broncos

Fans clamored for Samuel to get more touches than he received last season, a discussion that spilled over into 2016 even though he led the team in all-purpose yards. Injuries and the presence of Braxton Miller cut his snaps short last year but Samuel made the most of his opportunity against Western Michigan in Week 4. This masterful juke move put the nail in the Broncos' coffin and gave Ohio State a 38-12 win.

7. Speed to Burn Sets Tone Against Sooners

Samuel took a handoff from Barrett on 4th-and-1 and sprinted around left end behind some great blocks midway through the first quarter at Oklahoma. A lightning quick 36 yards later, he stood in the end zone and the Buckeyes took a lead that they never relinquished.

 

6. Samuel Fights Through Interference to Score the First TD of 2015

Ohio State enacted revenge on Virginia Tech in the 2015 season opener, beating the Hokies 42-24 to avenge its loss to them a year earlier in Columbus. Samuel caught two passes for 32 yards in that game, including this one when he fought through contact and pass interference to tally the first points in what was then a young season for the Buckeyes.

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5. Try to Keep Up, Nits

Ohio State lost to Penn State 24-21 this season in Happy Valley, mostly behind a pair of special teams gaffes by the Buckeyes. Samuel did his part, though, despite only touching the ball 10 times. He tallied 139 total yards and this 74-yard touchdown.

4. He Shook 'Em

Covering Samuel 1-on-1 is never a good idea, especially on the outside. He proved that true again in Ohio State's 62-3 stomping of Maryland, a game in which he scored three touchdowns on just nine touches.

3. One Move = Points

Samuel played a huge role in Ohio State's season-opening 77-10 thrashing of Bowling Green. He ran the ball 13 times for 84 yards and a touchdown and also caught nine passes for 177 yards and two more scores. The play below is his 79-yard touchdown catch late in the first quarter, the longest play of his college career.

2. Goodnight, Huskers

Already enjoying a 31-3 after a monstrous first half on both sides of the ball, Ohio State's offense took the field with only one thing on its mind: End the game. Barrett faked a handoff, Samuel got behind the safety, caught the pass, broke a tackle and coasted to the end zone. The play was Ohio State's second touchdown in as many plays in the game and served as another step in the 62-3 rout.

1. 15-Yard Touchdown Run Ices Michigan

A no-brainer, right? This play will be rehashed on highlight reels for The Game forever. Samuel's slick run on the Y-Left 29 Lead around left end put the first overtime game between Ohio State and Michigan on ice and sent the Buckeyes to the College Football Playoff.

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