COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina receiver Deebo Samuel says he is skipping the Belk Bowl so he can begin preparing for the NFL draft.
Samuel thanked fans in his announcement Monday on Instagram , but says it is time to support his family, adding "I realize the next 6 months will determine my next four years and potentially even more."
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June 1, 2014 ... We became family •Thank you for brightening my world on my worst days •Thank you for inspiring me and not even knowing it •Thank you for always believing in me even when things were rough •Thank you for being an important part to my story •Thank you for the struggles we went through because without it I wouldn’t have found my strength •I appreciate you more because of the road We’ve travelled through injuries, heartache and adversity as a whole. My story brought me to your doorstep and I wouldn’t revise it for nothing. •You changed my life without even trying, and I don’t think I could ever tell you how much you all mean to me. •The impact on my life you all have made I can never repay. I owe you more than you’ll ever know, Please don’t ever forget me because I will never forget you. Forever To Thee I love you Gamecock Nation ♥️
Samuel has shown flashes of brilliance while fighting injuries. He was responsible for 30 touchdowns in his Gamecocks career catching, running and returning kicks along with two TD passes and an end zone fumble recovery on special teams.
Samuel missed games his freshman year with hamstring problems and broke his leg in his third game of 2017 before deciding to return his senior year.
Samuel was a first-team Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference pick as an all-purpose player and a second team pick as a wide receiver.
The Gamecocks play Virginia on Dec. 29.