Occasionally, recruiting boils down to hitting your layups. Sam Shields was born to be a Wildcat, and Coach Klieman and staff offered the talented offensive lineman from Manhattan the opportunity to be a Wildcat.
Sometimes it’s just that simple.
What Sam Shields Brings to the Table
According to 247 Sports, Shields is a 3-star (84), 6’5, 285 pound offensive lineman out of Manhattan High School in Manhattan, Kansas (ever heard of the place?)
Shields bring a big frame and versatility to the Kansas State offense line class. He’s projected as a guard at the next level, but he’s got the size to play right tackle as well. I’m not an offensive line coach, so it’s hard for me to judge his technique, but I do like his ability to pull as a lineman and find blocks at the point of attack.
For a 6’5, 285 pound junior in high school, Shields is light on his feet. Sometimes you see big, lumbering guys trying to pull around the edge, and you know that they’re going to need major work at the next level. Shields looks good as a pulling guard right now.
As he fills out, it will be interesting to see if he can maintain his athleticism. I like offensive linemen that come in around Shield’s size. They’re not a finished product physically, but it’s not going to take him 3 years at the training table and in the weight room to get on the field.
At the same time, he’s not a “fat guy” lineman that comes in at 300+ pounds, but should weigh 270. The strength and conditioning staff can get him in the weight room, add 10 good pounds of weight, get his legs stronger and get him on the field.
He’s a project, but not a long term project. I think we’ll know about Shields sooner rather than later.
How He Fits Into the 2020 Class
The 2020 class is going to be a 4-5 lineman class (I always advocate for 5 offensive linemen in every class). When you can pull a talented recruit out of your backyard, you 100% have to lock him up. I’ve seen teams lose local kids but the new staff made it clear to Shields that he was a priority.
You probably won’t know exactly how Shields fits into the 2020 class until he sees the field a little later in his career, but I like his potential as either a guard or a right tackle. As an added bonus, I can walk over and watch him play this season and give you guys a little better scouting report.