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66 DAYS TO 2023 KICKOFF: Sam Shields

In which BracketCat counts down the 66th day until the 2023 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State offensive lineman Sam Shields.

#66 BJ Finney
Jeromey Clary. B.J. Finney (66). Some pretty big names on the K-State offensive line have worn this jersey number. Sam Shields is just the newest one.
Photo by John Albright/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NOTE: Kansas State has elected to advance players’ classification even though the 2020 season did not affect eligibility. Those who wish to take advantage of this extra year will be listed as a (“super”) senior again after their original eligibility would have been exhausted.

#66 Sam Shields

Redshirt Junior | 6-4 | 299 lbs. | Manhattan, Kansas
Sam Shields
Sam Shields
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Offensive Line
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Third-String
  • Status: On Scholarship

Samuel A. Shields (b. Dec. 26, 2001) is a promising young hometown offensive lineman from Manhattan High School who “blueshirted” with K-State in the Class of 2020.

Shields (not to be confused with the former Green Bay Packers cornerback of the same name) enrolled early for 2020 spring practices and went on scholarship starting that fall, but redshirted and did not see any game action in either 2020 or 2021.

However, in 2022, he broke through and played in two contests, seeing time as a reserve offensive lineman in dominant victories against both Missouri and Oklahoma State.

Shields, who is majoring in professional strategic selling, prepped with current K-State nose guard Damian Ilalio and safety Joe Hall III.

Shields played under head coach Joe Schartz at Manhattan, where he was rated the 85th-best offensive guard in the Class of 2020 by ESPN, while 247Sports ranked him No. 88.

He helped the Indians to earn a 9-2 record in his senior year as they advanced to the state quarterfinals. Manhattan went 10-2 and advanced to the state semifinals in his junior year.

Shields was named a first-team all-state performer by The Topeka Capital-Journal, The Wichita Eagle and the Kansas Football Coaches Association as a senior, despite an injury. He also earned first-team all-area honors and was selected to play in the Kansas Shrine Bowl.

Shields chose K-State over offers from Kansas, North Dakota State and South Dakota, plus interest from Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, South Dakota State and Wyoming.

His primary recruiters were his position coach, Conor Riley, and head coach Chris Klieman.

Drew Schneider shared this excellent recruiting profile of Shields with us in 2021.

His mother, former UCF women’s basketball player Jill Shields, is a deputy athletic director and senior woman administrator for K-State Athletics, so we had a bit of an “in” with him...