Until this year, trying to pin down Jaylen Samuels by position was as hard as trying to pin him down on the field. The N.C. State star hasn’t changed. The ACC had to adapt to him.
The elusive tight end/running back/wide receiver/utility player from Charlotte hasn’t always gotten the recognition he’s deserved because he falls through the voting cracks – especially last year, when he wasn’t on the preseason all-ACC first team.
There’s no chance that happens again, because the ACC created a positionless position just for Samuels: all-purpose back.
“It’s crazy,” Samuels said. “When I first saw it, I was like, ‘They really created a position!’ ”
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At the ACC meetings in May, N.C. State football sports information director Annabelle Myers proposed adding the position to the ACC ballot, primarily for Samuels but also to acknowledge the rise of hybrid players in a game increasingly trending toward spread offenses.
Samuels and Pittsburgh’s Quadree Allison were the only players nominated this year. For once, Samuels’ election should be a foregone conclusion when the preseason team is announced Monday.
“They’re great players, and they’re not getting recognized,” N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said. “I thought it was a smart thing, and I’m glad they did it, obviously, because we have Jaylen on our team.”
Luke DeCock: 919-829-8947, firstname.lastname@example.org, @LukeDeCock