Deebo Samuel didn’t take the court, but he didn’t want to miss out being at D.J. Swearinger’s second annual charity basketball game.
“Swearinger reached out and asked me if I minded coming to the game,” Samuel said. “So I had to show some love to them. I’m out here to support him and the other guys”
The South Carolina receiver was one of several current Gamecocks at the game, joining Bryan Edwards and defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson in supporting the event.
If things go as expected for Samuel’s senior year, he could be the next former Gamecock star out there in the game with the likes of Swearinger and Pro Bowlers Melvin Ingram and Pharoh Cooper.
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Several early NFL mock drafts have Samuel as a first-round selection, with CBS Sports projecting him as a top five pick. Samuel said he has reached out to several former Gamecocks for advice as he approaches a big season for him.
“It takes dedication and hard work. You've got to get it when no one is getting it in,” Samuel said.
As a sophomore, Samuel caught 59 passes for 783 yards and had seven total touchdowns. Samuel’s 2018 season was cut short after suffering a broken leg against Kentucky in the third game of the season. Samuel got some work in during the spring, but an injury flare-up limited him and he didn't play in the spring game.
Samuel didn’t elaborate on his physical health but made it clear he can't wait to return to the field.
“You will see Sept. 1 (USC's opener). Only time will tell,” Samuel said with a smile. “I learned that patience is the key to everything. … I’m just ready to get back out there.”