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NFL draft: Curtis Samuel selected by the Carolina Panthers in the second round

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OSU junior H-back Curtis Samuel (4) scores the game-winning touchdown in the second overtime of the Buckeyes’ 30-27 win over Michigan on Nov. 26. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo Editor

Former Ohio State H-back Curtis Samuel has been selected with the 40th overall pick by the Carolina Panthers in the second round.

He is the fourth Buckeye selected in the 2017 draft, following former teammates Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker and Gareon Conley.

Samuel declared his intentions to forgo his final season of collegiate eligibility and enter the NFL draft on Jan. 9, becoming the third Buckeye at the time to announce his departure from OSU.

In his final season with the Buckeyes, Samuel was recognized as a first-team All-American by both the Associated Press and Sporting News. He was also selected as a second-team All-American by Football Writers Association of America and Fox Sports.

Serving as the hybrid back for OSU in 2016, Samuel seemed to do it all for the team. He led the Buckeyes with 865 receiving yards on 74 receptions, also tying the team-lead for touchdown receptions with seven. He also finished third on the team in rushing yards with 771 yards on 97 attempts, taking eight of those rushes for scores. Samuel was also the only player in Division I football to tally at least 600 receiving yards and 600 rushing yards.

Samuel finished the season third in all-purpose yards in the Big Ten with 1,655 yards and tied for third in the conference with 15 total touchdowns.

Most memorable of those touchdown came on Nov. 26 against Michigan when Samuel took a handoff left for a 15-yard game-winning touchdown in the Buckeyes’ 30-27 overtime victory.

Entering the draft as a wide receiver, Samuel placed among the position’s leaders in several of the NFL Combine’s categories. He posted a 4.31 second 40-yard dash time, ranking second among all receivers, and finished eighth in the vertical jump with a 37-inch jump.

Samuel is the second offensive player drafted by the Panthers in the 2017 draft. On Friday, the Carolina drafted former Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey with the No. 8 overall pick.

Samuel joins former Buckeyes players safety Kurt Coleman and guard Andrew Norwell on the Panthers.

The Panthers open the season in San Fransisco against the 49ers on September 10.

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