Deebo Samuel was named a first-team All-Pro wide receiver on Friday, but in his mind, that's not a fitting label.
Samuel was asked Friday what he would tell someone who asked him what position he plays, and he gave a bit of an unconventional answer.
"Wide back," the 49ers star said with a smile. "Wide receiver playing running back."
Samuel, who turns 26 on Saturday, certainly is redefining the position. Entering this season, he'd been used only occasionally as a ball-carrier, but that hasn't been the case as of late; he's logged 59 carries this season for 365 yards and eight touchdowns, a massive leap from his previous numbers of 14 rushes (2019) and eight rushes (2020).
However, don't be fooled into thinking Samuel simply has changed positions. He's also dramatically improved his numbers as a receiving threat this season, reeling in 77 catches for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns. It's all culminated in Samuel becoming one of the league's premier playmakers, as evidenced by his league-leading 18.2 yards per reception.
San Francisco selected Samuel 36th overall in the 2019 draft out of South Carolina, where he showed out en route to both an All-SEC and All-American nod as a senior. This year was his first being named All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl.
Samuel and the 49ers are set to square off with the Cowboys on Sunday in the wild-card round. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. EST on CBS and Nickelodeon.