COLUMBIA, S.C. (April 26, 2019) - University of South Carolina wide receiver/kick returner Deebo Samuel was selected by the San Francisco 49ers with the 36th pick in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He is the fifth Gamecock wide receiver drafted since 2012, joining Alshon Jeffery, Ace Sanders, Bruce Ellington, and Pharoh Cooper.
One of the most electrifying players in college football, the talented wide receiver and kick returner earned all-conference and All-America recognition during his senior campaign. The six-foot, 213-pounder from Inman, S.C. logged 86 career receptions for 1,194 yards during his Gamecock career. He scored 28 career touchdowns - 16 receiving, seven rushing, four via kickoff return and one fumble recovery, and also threw one touchdown pass. Samuel finished his career ranked eighth in receptions (148), 10th in receiving yards (2,076), tied for ninth in receiving touchdowns (16), tied for fourth in touchdowns scored (28), first in kick return average (29.0) first in kick returns for touchdowns (4) and eighth in all-purpose yards (3,257), while playing in 30 games with 27 career starts.
Here is Samuel's biography:
2018: Garnered first-team All-America honors as an all-purpose performer by the AFCA and second-team as a kick returner by the FWAA... named first team All-SEC as an all-purpose performer by both the Associated Press and the league's coaches... the coaches also named him first-team All-SEC as a return specialist... both the AP and coaches named him second-team All-SEC at wide receiver... won the following postseason team awards: Steve Wadiak MVP; Steve Spurrier MVP - Offense; Most Explosive Player - Offense; Most Productive Player - Special Teams; Comeback Player of the Year... caught 62 passes (tied for ninth in school history) for 882 yards (10th) with 11 receiving touchdowns (second)... scored 13 touchdowns (tied for fourth) and logged 1,678 all-purpose yards (ninth)... had four pass receptions of 50 yards or more... his 5.2 receptions per game ranked fifth in the SEC, his 73.5 receiving yards per game ranks sixth, his 123.2 all-purpose yards ranked second, while his 24.8-yard kickoff return average ranked fourth... also ranked tied for fifth in the league averaging 6.5 points per game... tied the school record with three-straight 100-yard receiving games, going for 120 yards at Florida, then 112 against Chattanooga, before having the best game of his career, a 10-catch, 210-yard, 3-touchdown effort at Clemson... threw a touchdown in the Georgia game, his second career completion, both of which went for scores... led off the Ole Miss victory win an electrifying 90-yard kickoff return touchdown, the fourth of his collegiate career, which extended his school record and tied an SEC record... reeled in a career-best 89-yard reception in the Florida game, the seventh-longest reception in Carolina history and the longest that did not score... his 210-yard effort at Clemson tied for the second-highest receiving day in Carolina history... elected to not participate in the Belk Bowl, instead focusing on the upcoming NFL Combine and 2019 Draft... invited to the Senior Bowl.
2017: Was on his way to an outstanding campaign when he left the Kentucky game in the third quarter with a broken leg... despite playing in just three games, still tied for the team lead with six touchdowns... accounted for three receiving, two kick return and one rushing TD... averaged 158.0 yards of total offense per game... received two kickoffs and returned them both 97 yards for scores... logged 15 receptions for 250 yards, an average of 16.7 yards per catch, and rushed twice for 30 yards... caught five passes for 83 yards and two TDs in the season opener against NC State... also returned the game's opening kick 97 yards for a score, earning a spot on the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll and SEC Special Teams Player of the Week recognition... scored a pair of touchdowns in the win over Missouri, racing to a 97-yard kick return for Carolina's first points of the game and later taking it in on a 25-yard rush... earned the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll and SEC Special Teams Player of the Week accolades for the second-straight week... became the first Gamecock to log three career kick return touchdowns and the third to return two kicks for TDs in a season... caught five balls for 122 yards and a touchdown vs. Kentucky, including a 68-yard scoring strike on the first play from scrimmage... named a game captain against Missouri and Kentucky.
2016: Sophomore who shared the Steve Wadiak MVP Award with Jake Bentley, was the Steve Spurrier Award winner as the Offense's MVP and was selected as the Most Explosive Player on offense by his teammates... led the squad with 59 catches for 783 yards despite playing in just 10 games... also rushed 15 times for 98 yards and six TDs, returned 16 kickoffs for a 26.9-yard average with one score, returned two punts for eight yards and threw a 33-yard touchdown pass... ranked third in the SEC in receptions per game (5.9), fourth in receiving yards per game (78.3), third in kickoff return average and second in all-purpose yardage per game (132.0)... caught two passes for 36 yards at Vandy and scored on an eight-yard run for Carolina's lone TD... battled hamstring issues throughout the Mississippi State game... did not play against East Carolina, Kentucky or Texas A&M due to the balky hamstring... had four catches for 90 yards against Georgia... tallied eight catches for 106 yards vs. UMass... collected eight catches for 83 yards in the Tennessee win... set then-career highs with nine catches for 125 yards and had a rushing TD against Missouri... scored three times against Western Carolina, two rushing and one on a 100-yard kick return... threw a 33-yard TD pass and returned six kicks for 124 yards against Clemson... had his best game against USF when he tied the school record with 14 receptions and set Birmingham Bowl records with 14 receptions and 190 receiving yards... also scored a rushing touchdown in that contest... garnered the Joe Morrison Offensive Player of the Spring honors.
2015: Played in five games, making three starts while battling injuries... fourth on the team with 12 receptions for 161 yards and a touchdown... started but suffered a hamstring injury in the season opener against North Carolina... made his first catch for 10 yards against Kentucky... started and caught two passes for 20 yards against Georgia... continued to have issues with the hamstring and sat out the next seven contests... returned to action against The Citadel... moved back into the starting lineup for the season finale against Clemson and responded with a then-career-best performance, logging five catches for 104 yards and a his first career TD, a seven-yard catch... also had a career-long 48-yard reception in that contest... recognized with the Big Plays award for the offense in the spring.
2014: Redshirted as a true freshman... worked with the scout team.
HIGH SCHOOL: Played for Mark Hodge at Chapman High School in Inman, S.C., graduating in 2014... led the Panthers to an 11-4 record and a semifinal berth in the AAA playoffs as a senior... logged 166 catches for 2,751 yards and 36 touchdowns during his career... also rushed 133 times for 898 yards and scored 13 times on the ground... collected a school-record 53 career TDs... added 94 tackles and 12 interceptions... as a senior, logged 61 receptions for 1,184 yards and 15 scores... added 837 yards on the ground with 13 TDs... also scored twice on INTs... named the High School Sports Report Class AAA Offensive Player of the Year... played in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas... caught 78 passes for 1,246 yards and 18 scores as a junior... also had a kick return and a punt return for a touchdown... played defensive back and running back as a sophomore... Rivals considered him the No. 53 wide receiver in the nation and the 17th-best player in the state... was the fifth-best player in the state, the 35th-best wide receiver in the nation, and was No. 238 overall according to 247Sports... ESPN rated him the 192nd-best wide receiver in the nation and the 32nd-best player in the state.