Josh Kendall

Deebo Samuel helped himself at NFL Combine. How about the rest of the Gamecocks?

How Deebo Samuel is preparing for the NFL

Deebo Samuel met with the media Friday at the NFL Combine
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Deebo Samuel met with the media Friday at the NFL Combine

South Carolina sent five former players to the NFL Combine this year — two offensive linemen, a linebacker, a wide receiver and a cornerback.

And who had the biggest hands of the group? Oddly, wide receiver Deebo Samuel, whose hands were 10 inches measured from tip of the thumb to tip of the pinkie. In the real world, nobody talks much about hand size, but at the NFL Combine, held annually in Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium, hundreds of professional coaches and scouts obsess over it and other minute details of hundreds of prospective NFL players.

This year, five Gamecocks were invited, and Samuel had the best week of the group, not just because of the oven mitts at the end of his arms (which were the ninth-biggest among wide receivers and bigger than 25 of the offensive linemen’s hands at this year’s event).

He ran a 4.48 40-yard dash, which ranked 16th among wide receivers this year. More importantly, and not surprisingly to South Carolina fans who have watched Samuel play the last four years, Samuel posted a 4.14 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle, the fifth-best time among wide receivers. His 39-inch vertical jump was the sixth-best among wide receivers.

Samuel is the only South Carolina product expected to be drafted in the top four rounds of April’s draft.

The other four Gamecocks at the combine — offensive linemen Zack Bailey and Dennis Daley, linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams and defensive back Rashad Fenton — were hoping for an impressive number or two that would catch the eye of scouts. For the most part, they are going to have to wait until South Carolina’s Pro Day on March 21 to try to put up those numbers and get themselves into the later rounds of the draft.

Allen-Williams, still recovering from a serious ankle injury that cost him four games last season, ran a 4.88 40-yard dash, the second slowest among linebackers, and did 14 repetitions on the bench press. He did not participate in the vertical jump or broad jump.

Bailey, recovering from a broken leg suffered in the final game of the regular season, only participated in the bench press, vertical jump and broad jump. He had a 28-inch vertical leap, which was in the middle of the pack for offensive lineman, and a 103-inch broad jump, which was closer to the bottom of the testing numbers. He had 24 repetitions on the bench press.

Daley had a 26.5-inch vertical jump and 103-inch broad jump. His 20-yard shuttle time (4.92) was the eighth-slowest among offensive linemen at the event. He had 20 repetitions on the bench press.

Fenton’s numbers were in the middle of the pack at his position grouping — a 4.52 in the 40-yard dash and 12 repetitions on the bench press.

Gamecocks at the NFL Combine

Deebo Samuel

Height: 5-11 2/8 inches

Weight: 214

Hand: 10 inches

Arm: 31 3/8 inches

Wingspan: 75 1/8 inches

40-yard dash: 4.48

Bench press: 15

Vertical: 39 inches

20-yard shuttle: 4.14

Zack Bailey

Height: 6-5 1/8 inches

Weight: 299

Hand: 9 5/8 inches

Arm: 33 inches

Wingspan: 79 5/8 inches

40-yard dash: N/A

Bench press: 24

Vertical: 28

20-yard shuttle: N/A

Dennis Daley

Height: 6-5

Weight: 317

Hand: 9 4/8 inches

Arm: 33 3/8

Wingspan: 81 6/8 inches

40-yard dash: 5.23

Bench press: 20

Vertical: 26.5 inches

20-yard shuttle: 4.92

Bryson Allen-Williams

Height: 6-0 5/8 inches

Weight: 236

Hand: 9 6/8 inches

Arm: 31 4/8 inches

Wingspan 77 5/8 inches

40-yard dash: 4.88

Bench press: 14

Vertical: N/A

20-yard shuttle: N/A

Rashad Fenton

Height: 5-11

Weight: 193

Hand: 8 6/8 inches

Arm: 30 3/8 inches

Wingspan: 74 inches

40-yard dash: 4.52

Bench press: 12

Vertical: 34 inches

20-yard shuttle: 4.25

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Josh Kendall has covered SEC football for almost 20 years. He has covered the Gamecocks since the 2010 season. Have a question? Shoot him an email or find him on Twitter, and he’ll be happy to respond.
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