Don Hansen

2014 Signing: Christian Sam

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Arizona State head coach Todd Graham started his coaching career at Allen High School in Texas. In fact, his son and running backs coach Bo Graham played at Allen High. This Texas high school has a $60 million dollar stadium which seats 18,000 people. Allen High School football has won its difficult district every year since 2006, and the team has won the Class 5A Division I football state championship in 2012 and 2013. It should be no surprise that the Grahams recruit heavily at this Texas high school powerhouse. In the 2014 Signing Day recruiting class, the Sun Devils signed linebacker Christian Sam.

Sam, who measures approximately 6’1″ and 210 pounds, finished his senior season with 86 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, eight sacks, seven quarterback hits, one interception, and five pass break-ups. Sam finished the season on the “All-Area Second Team Defense” per Dallas Morning News. In the 2013 Division I state championship game, in front of 54,347 fans at AT&T Stadium, Christian Sam was named Defensive Most Valuable Player as he had five and a half tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack, and one forced fumble. Sam has the ability to make plays in the backfield or in coverage, so it comes as no surprise that Coach Graham wants to put Sam at the spur linebacker position at Arizona State. Todd Graham stated the following during his Signing Day press conference:

“Real excited to get two players from Allen High School, probably the top high school in the state of Texas, and two guys that have come off back‑to‑back state championships, so we’re excited about Christian.  Christian will play our spur position.  Again, you can look down and see the offers that these guys had.  To be able to come that far from home and to choose us over the likes of Oklahoma, and you see the Big 12 schools, we’re excited to have him.  Tremendous blitzability, tremendous cover skills.  That’s one of the hardest positions for us to recruit because they’ve got to be big enough, and he’s 6’1″, between 6’1″ and 6’2″, 220 pounds, he’s a 4.4, 4.5 (speed) guy that can cover, blitz off the edge and play over a tight end.  Those guys are hard to find, so we’re excited about Christian.”

First, the word blitzability is awesome, and it will be used in future podcasts. Back to Sam, this blitzability was missing in the 2013 season from the spur linebacker position as starting spur linebacker Anthony Jones only had two and a half tackles for loss and one sack the entire season. This was a significant downgrade from the 2012 season where spur linebacker Chris Young had 14 tackles for loss and two sacks. Christian Sam has a future at the spur linebacker position because he is a high motor player who runs well in run support or coverage. With his body type and fast pursuit, Sam shows in his high school highlights is an important aspect of being a productive spur linebacker in the Arizona State defensive system.

About Don Hansen

Don Hansen

Don is a 2003 graduate of Arizona State University where he spent four years sitting in the front rows of many ASU athletic events leading the rowdy student section. Now, Don co-hosts the "ASU Devils Den" podcast covering every detail of ASU football. Don works and resides in Gilbert, Arizona with his beautiful Sun Devil wife and their two beautiful daughters!

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