The hot streak for Oregon continues as they land 3* ILB Sampson Niu. This is a huge pickup for the Ducks because of the extensive offer list Niu boasts. He has offers from USC (which were the favorites about a month ago), Michigan, Notre Dame, and Washington. His recruitment exploded during February as he picked up 11 offers in two weeks. Oregon came late to the party and offered Niu in April, but that didn’t matter.
Go Ducks pic.twitter.com/ZRJW8KaXDi— BIRTHDAY BOY (@saampsonniu) June 22, 2016
Niu is the 6th commit for the Ducks and after the addition, Oregon will be the number nine class in the Pac-12. Niu is the 14th best ILB in the 2017 class and the 43th best prospect in the state of California. The Madison high school standout had a great year in 2015. He recorded 90 tackles, 8 tackles for loses, and 2 sacks. Although Madison Football lost early in the CIF playoffs, Niu was defensive player of the year in his conference, first team all league and CIF, and was an all-state selection.
At first glance, Sampson Niu is an explosive athlete. He has a powerful first step in which drives back any offensive guard or offensive tackle. When blitzing, his upper body strength is where he strives. He locks onto guards or tackles (really doesn’t matter) and disrupts the pocket. His size, 6-1, also allows him to put on more muscle and therefore will dictate how he develops as a pass rusher.
His speed is another one of his strengths. He is quick to the ball carrier and he hits the hole with a quick first step. He can weasel his way into the backfield and wreak havoc amongst the running back and quarterback. His quickness is more of a burst and not so much as long range speed. This is something he can work on by going through agility drills, sled pulls, and ladder drills.
Niu is also good in zone coverage. He reads the quarterbacks eyes very well and can position himself well to make a big play. His instincts help him get to where he needs to be for him to make a big play. This also helps his long form speed because he is a few steps ahead of everyone else. He is also a textbook tackler because he wraps up balanced and drives back the ball carrier without giving up any extra yards.
Check out Sampson Niu’s highlights courtesy of Hudl: