The Wolfpacker

July 2016

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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38 ■ THE WOLFPACKER FOOTBALL PREVIEW 2016 "An H-back is a guy in any offense that can do multiple things," Faulkner explained. "That is what he is for us." Samuels is unique and clearly a weapon, and that is undeniable. He led NC State with 65 catches for 597 yards and seven touchdowns, and also rushed 56 times for 368 yards and nine scores. Sporting News has tabbed Samuels pre- season first-team All-ACC at tight end, while Athlon did the same but as an "all- purpose back." Lindy's also had Samuels in the all-purpose position, but listed him on its third team. ACC media named him first-team all- conference at tight end last season, and the coaches had him sharing second-team hon- ors there. The league doesn't have a postsea- son all-purpose back position. Faulkner half-joked that the confusion over what to call Samuels is a good problem to have because that means he's producing enough for media and fans to ponder his position. "He's an H-back that has a strong skill set that can do several different things," Faulkner said. "He can run, catch and block, and there aren't a lot of guys that can do all that. I think what complicates that whole conversation is that he is not your typical height-wise, physical stature-wise, so you wouldn't call him a tight end." Samuels admits he was shocked when he earned first-team All-ACC honors at tight end last year. "I've heard myself called a lot of posi- tions," Samuels said. "I've been called run- ning back, tight end, fullback, wide receiver, H-back, wing back; so it's all over the place. I really don't know what my real position is, but it's weird. I just say I play a lot of things." Samuels' 65 receptions were more than other tight end in the country last year. Faulkner said the next step in Samuels' de- velopment is to improve his blocking. "My stats for a tight end were ridiculous compared to other tight ends because they don't get the ball or as many carries as I did," Samuels said. He played some running back during the second half of last season due to Shadrach Thornton's dismissal from the team and Matthew Dayes' season-ending injury in the eighth game. Reggie Gallaspy was injured for the Belk Bowl loss to Mississippi State, leading to Samuels and converted wide re- ceiver Nyheim Hines to join running back Dakwa Nichols in the backfield. Samuels would continue to spend time with Faulkner in practice, but he would also work with running backs coach Des Kitch- ings due to the running back attrition. Samu- els would bounce back and forth in drills between the two units. "It was fun to do different things, but actually kind of tough to learn the running back and tight end positions," Samuels said. "You have to learn the different protections. I played a lot of running back against Clem- son and had a couple of good runs [six car- ries for 65 yards and a touchdown]." One Of A Kind Jaylen Samuels Brings A Unique Skill Set To The Offense Last year, Samuels was the Wolfpack's leading receiver with 65 receptions for 597 yards and seven scores, while also rushing for 368 yards and nine touchdowns on 56 attempts. PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN BY JACEY ZEMBAL N C State junior Jaylen Samuels might miss out on some accolades because people in the media simply don't know what position to list him at. The 5-11, 223-pound Samuels does not look like the typical tight end. He also doesn't line up as a traditional fullback that mostly blocks. NC State's roster lists him as "TE/FB" — but tight ends/fullbacks coach Eddie Faulkner said Samuels' true position is H-back.

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