High School Sports

High school football previews: Ranking the top athletes in the Bi-City area--No. 1

Editor's note: They’re the most exciting players on the field. Blink, and you might miss something spectacular. In the past, football coaches tried to fit certain players into a specific mold. But the do-it-all athlete can’t be placed in a box. They’re a threat from multiple positions. This week’s preview series takes a look at some of the best athletes in the Bi-City area for 2014.


Team: Central

Class: Senior

Ht.: 5-8

Wt: 180

Last year's stats: 44 receptions for 452 yards and 2 touchdowns; 101 carries for 780 yards and 11 touchdowns; 22 returns for 445 yards and 2 touchdowns (1,767 all-purpose yards and 15 touchdowns)

Recruiting info: Offers from Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, Duke, Florida State, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Mississippi State, N.C. State, North Carolina, Ohio State, South Florida, Tennessee, among others

Why he's on the list: There was never really much of a chance of this list ending with anyone else. On the list of top all-around athletes in the Bi-City area, it’s Traveon Samuel and then everybody else.

And that’s saying something, given how many phenomenal players are playing in the area right now. Samuel, however, is in another league when it comes to opposing coaches highlighting an opposing player game in and game out. Samuel is the type of guy you never want to lose sight of. Know where he is on the field at all times.

Just take a quick look at the highlight video below and you can gain some kind of understanding of how dangerous he is from every spot on the field. He rushed for over 700 yards as a running back last year, despite his small frame. Then again, at only 5-foot-8, he can line up wide and beat cornerbacks who are four inches taller than he is.

This year, he’ll be playing in an up-tempo offense under new coach Jamey DuBose. He will undoubtedly be the team’s main weapon and could put up fantastic numbers. He’s already one of the higher-rated recruits in the country. A big senior year could put him in elite company.