Heel Tough Blog: 2021 Scouting Reports- Keith Sampson Jr.


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As we have hit the end of the regular season in most of the states that participated in spring football, we are going to go back into the regular season to give you a look at some of the prospects in the 2021, ‘22 and ‘23 classes. We’ll start by going back to mid-March for a look at the Tar Heels’ most recent, 2023 defensive tackle Keith Sampson Jr. of New Bern High School in New Bern, NC. Here is our breakdown of his performance from earlier this season against D.H. Conley High School.


Sampson was one of the standouts players in this game for New Bern, especially on the defensive side of the football. He finished the night with six total tackles, 3.0 tackles for a loss and a pass deflection to help lead the way for a Bears defense that came up big when they needed to to hold the D.H. Conley offense to just 15 points despite them being able to move the football up and down the field for most of the night.


Sampson showed in this one why he is quickly rising up the 2023 recruiting boards. He is one of the more technically skilled defensive linemen that I have scouted over the last few years, starting with his great release off of the line of scrimmage. He was able to consistently win against interior offensive linemen because of that quick get off and also did a good job of staying low to win battles and get into the backfield. He is pretty athletic for an interior defensive lineman and he has no trouble staying after it down field if he has to chase down a play. He may not be the most powerful interior defensive lineman, but he does have more than enough strength to hold his own. There is a lot to like about this young interior defensive line prospect who will only climb further up recruiting boards over the next year and a half.


We will continue to look at some of the Tar Heels top targets throughout the next few months, including some night of looks at some of the prospects in the North Carolina state playoffs. Make sure to follow the Heel Tough Blog on social media so you don’t miss any of the content.