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Samuels makes impact as freshman for MSU track

April 7, 2012

MSU's Jarrett Samuels competes in the long jump at the SEC/Big 10 Challenge earlier this year. (Photo by Michael Wardlaw, SDN)

For many freshman making an impact is hard to do, but Mississippi State's Jarrett Samuels has already made his mark for the track and field team.

Samuels holds the top collegiate length in the long jump with a 26-02.25, which he recorded at the Texas Relays one weekend ago.

It is something Samuels did not expect, but something he is proud of.

"It means a lot," Samuels said. "It is kind of overwhelming though. I did not expect it to come this fast."

It was also an MSU freshman record and it moved him to fifth on the Bulldogs all-time list in the long jump.

The Bulldogs are currently ranked ninth in United States Track Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association.

Samuels is glad he has had the opportunity to make an impact already for his team.

"It feels real good," Samuels said of MSU being ranked in the top 10. "I am happy to lead the team as a freshman. I am glad I can make an impact on the team so early."

Samuels hails from Charlotte, N.C., where he was the Valedictorian of his senior class at Evelyn Mack Academy.

The coaching staff, school and atmosphere of Starkville made his decision easy to continue his career at Mississippi State.

"I really like the coaching (at MSU)," Samuels said. "I liked the school and the atmosphere of the small town. I felt real welcomed here when I came to visit."

Samuels has an older brother who is a junior at East Carolina. The older Samuels competes in the hurdles for the Pirates.

The younger Samuels says there was not really a competitive feeling around the Samuels household as they were growing up.

"We were really not that competitive growing up," Samuels said. "We didn't compete in the same events, but we always wanted to be number one in whatever event we were competing in."

Samuels and the rest of the Bulldogs are back in action today when they compete in the Battle of the Bayou. The event is hosted by LSU in Baton Rouge.

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