USC Gamecocks Football

Watch Deebo Samuel break off big plays in NFL preseason debut

Deebo Samuel previews rookie season with 49ers

Former South Carolina star was drafted in second round of the NFL draft
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Former South Carolina star was drafted in second round of the NFL draft

It took Deebo Samuel a little while to get the ball in his preseason debut with the San Francisco 49ers.

But when he finally got against the Dallas Cowboys late Saturday night, he made it count.

Samuel’s first touch of the NFL preseason was a 14-yard end-around on which he slipped a tackle attempt and gained 14 yards. Later on, he caught a 16-yard pass on a bootleg.

And near the end of the third quarter, he hauled in a 45-yard catch.

Samuel was a second-round draft pick, taken with the 36th overall pick.

He blossomed into a top-flight playmaker in the latter half of his college career. After a breakout redshirt sophomore season, he appeared in line to become a national star early in 2017. Then injuries sidelined him, bringing him back to campus.

He posted 882 yards and 11 touchdowns, plus a kick return score in his final season. Overall, he had 148 catches, 2,076 yards, 23 touchdowns from scrimmage, plus four kick return scores and one touchdown recovering a muffed punt.

He came to Columbia as a late commit and had to redshirt his first season on campus. Even after that, his nagging hamstring issues kept him on the bench the first seven games of 2015.

Former Gamecocks tailback Brandon Wilds, who signed with San Francisco earlier in the day Saturday, ran for 29 yards on seven carries and caught one pass for 4 yards.