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The Sports Daily > Duck Stops Here
Getting to know the 2011 Oregon newcomers: Sam Kamp

Sam Kamp
DL – 6-4, 247, 4.82
Mesa, Ariz. (Mountain View HS)

2010 stats:  Injured, DNP

2009: 68 tackles,  8 sacks, 1 int, 2 fumble recoveries, 5 pass breakups
Team record 8-4, 6-0 in league, 5A Central League Champions

Recruiting Rating: 3 stars, according to Rivals, Scout, ESPN and 247Sports

Success has synergy.  The Ducks have depth now; back in the ’80s they’d have a pretty decent team until they lost a starter or two.  Late season collapses were a regularity.  With depth, you can afford to develop players.  With depth, you can groom an athlete, give him a season to fill out and learn the system.  Coaches can take a chance on a young man with an upside or an injury to overcome, knowing he’ll have the proper amount of time to reach his potential.  In the years of the suffering, the Ducks were always sacrificing the seed corn in lost causes.  Undermanned teams do that.  Kids are forced into action, underweight and underprepared.  It becomes an ugly, self-fulfilling business, whole decades of shortages at one position group or another, redshirt years blown losing by 20 in a half-empty stadium.  Losing stinks.  It’s a bitter gift that lingers in the nose, the heart and the memory.

Sam Kamp is a good football player with a good future, but he’s the kind of player the Ducks would have had to rush 20 years ago.  They’d run out of defensive ends by game five, and he’d start cold against USC or UCLA, back in the days when the Bruins and Trojans were the bullies of the league, three-deep in offensive tackles with forearms the size of hams.

On the 2011 Ducks, Kamp can learn from ten linemen in a solid rotation, and he’ll have time to learn his craft.  He has a seasoned position coach and a state-of-the-art weight room, a top-notch medical facility and staff. What a difference 20 years of coaching continuity and Phil Knight’s generosity make.

Kamp lettered as a freshman at Mountain View, and by the time he was a junior he was an All-Region defensive first-team selection, considered the top defensive lineman in the greater Phoenix area.  He lost his senior season due to a broken clavicle suffered in a summer passing league, but rehabbed in time for basketball season, playing inside for the 27-3 state champions.  Here’s a look at his basketball video.

He’s physical and runs the floor well, tough and agile, persistent, goes up strong on the putback, a lunch pail, Kevin Love style of player, a good passing eye from the high post.  Posts up strong, a tough rebounder, works for his points, tough in the paint–in short, just the kind of basketball you’d want in a defensive end.

And here is football video from 2009, Kamp’s junior year:

   

Observations:

Plays big. pursues very well. swallows smaller ball carriers, often from behind.  Plays with a lot of desire.  Needs to improve his strength and hand-fighting skills, learn some swim and spin moves, get off blocks better.  May have the frame to gain weight and move inside. At 1:18 he shows a good outside rush on which he sheds 3 blocks on the way to the quarterback, forces a fumble.  Plays really strong and likes to hit. Very physical, brute force style, a good run stuffer at 1:30, playing more like a tackle, engages and drives through the blocker. At 1:44 lines up at tight end and drives his man back 10 yards on a sweep to his side. 1:50 playing weakside end, drives the blocker back into the play and forces the runner into the pursuit for a loss, again a DT technique.  He’s a natural-born disrupter. 2:32 has trouble getting off the block, but stays in the play and runs down the back–excellent agility here, looks like a huge linebacker in this sequence.  Very relentless.  With Azzinaro’s mastery of technique, he’ll blossom.  Plays with a lot of heart. 3:27 a good first step, drives up the field and pushes back the line of scrimmage.   Along both lines he’s the player with the most energy, the one most eager for the snap.  An intensity that can’t be taught or faked. 3:37 takes on a double team at the point of attack and drives it back.  3:48 penetrates and bats down the pass, very Bair-like. He’s much thicker than Bair was, or is.  Really good motor–defensive line is a position where you have to battle every play and be persistent, knowing you’re only going to earn a few moments of glory.  Comes at his opponent every play, relentlessly.  With Oregon conditioning he’ll wear offensive linemen down.  Just wants it more. 

Doesn’t have a variety of moves at this point; relies solely on his strength for penetration–but that stuff is teachable. 5:12 for a big guy, he has a nice low aggressive stance, fires out of the blocks like a sprinter.  5:32,5:36: Willing to mix it up and be a role player in there, understands assignment football. 5:40 payoff! after working hard all night, he beats his man to the outside and sacks the quarterback.  Again, he has that relentlessness you look for, the inner hunger to keep pushing for 60 plays to win two to five. 5:58 quarterback scrambles, and Kamp comes off the block to run him down ten yards down the field. Absolutely has no quit. 6:10, 6:32 a very bruising, sure tackler. Great impact, squares up, wraps up. 6:20 tipped ball! and Kamp dives low, cradles it for an interception.  Excellent athleticism for a big player, the benefit of his basketball background. 6:48 again, no quit. 7:10 a punishing, pile-driving tackle, the running back tries to stiffarm, Kamp just grabs an arm and a shoulder and slams him into the turf. 7:50 plays with his head up and finds the ball carrier, really smart in pursuit. 8:10 draws the double team and battles, his teammate is able to shoot inside with a direct path to the qb. 8:44 a textbook bullrush, overpowering his man and stuffing him right into the quarterback’s face.

Kamp has the raw material and the makeup to be a tremendous college football player.  There’s a little bit of Nick Reed in him, but he’s stronger than Reed, and likely to get stronger.  He’s a smart athlete, a 3.3 student in the classroom.  In June 2010 before his injury, Kamp was defensive MVP of the National Underclassmen Combine in Phoenix.  Camp Director David Schuman had an interview with him, and it’s shows Sam’s directedness and humor:

Coach Schuman:You were MVP! What are your goals now?
Sam Kamp:One of my biggest personal goals is to gain 15 or 20 pounds of muscle while keeping my first two steps off the line quick. I’m also planning on getting my 40 time down to a 4.8 before the season starts.

Coach Schuman: What is your favorite thing about football? what makes it a great sport to you?
 Sam Kamp:The physical aspect of the sport. If you don’t love to hit people, play tennis.

Coach Schuman: Tell me about your training regimen…How do you get better every day?
Sam Kamp:Right now my training involves lifting, quickness training, and eating. My two favorite workouts have got to be jumping boxes and Filibertos patron burrito.

Coach Schuman: What are you looking for in college? Academically? football?
Sam Kamp:I’m looking for a college with a successful record, i love to win. And academically i’m planning right now on going into buisness and marketing. I want to work for Nike one day.