The Nike Football Training Camp held over the weekend produced a handful of standouts and invitations to The Opening, with Texas commit Jake Oliver, Texas target Maurice Smith, and JD2 attendee Mike Mitchell all earned invitations to the prestigious event.
Unfortunately, it also produced what onlookers described as a nasty-looking ankle injury to Dallas Skyline wide receiver Ra'Shaad Samples, eventually determined on Monday to be a small fracture in his left tibia ($).
In the direct wake of the news, Samples seemed more disappointed in the lack of invite to The Opening than his potentially serious injury:
Kinda upset I didn't get invited to the opening— Rashaad Samples (@10justscored) March 25, 2012
On Monday, Samples had cause for celebration, as the ESPN-organized event tweeted out some good news for the injured receiver:
S/O and congratulations to Dallas Skyline WR Rashaad Samples (@10justscored), the 10th invitee to the 2012 #THEOPENING. #GOTOPEN— The Opening (@TheOpening2012) March 27, 2012
It's not clear at this time whether Samples will be able to participate in the event, as his timetable for recovery is three to four months, which would put a return to the football field right around the July 5-8 dates of the camp. Fortunately for Samples, he didn't suffer any ligament damage and even has experience rehabbing serious ankle injuries, as he suffered a worse break as a sophomore.
However, as Samples told ESPN's Damon Sayles, diligent rehab helped him return to the field faster and with more flexibility than he had before the injury. If Samples remains just as focused as he did before, there's a reasonable chance he could return in time for The Opening every bit as fast as he was on Sunday prior his setback.
Holding 33 offers from around the country, the injury to Samples should have minimal impact on his recruitment given the lack of ligament damage and the fact he responded well to a more severe injury in the past.
Samples certainly isn't sitting around feeling sorry for himself and his misfortune:
People bet not take no pity for me and treat me like I'm not an animal when I touch that field... I'm still gone eat whenever I touch grass— Rashaad Samples (@10justscored) March 27, 2012
As he says it always has been with him, the drive to succeed pushes him past any setbacks:
In about 8 weeks I'll be back to making DBS fall and being the same hardworking competitor I always have been— Rashaad Samples (@10justscored) March 27, 2012
Need any more proof? How about this:
@GhostofBigRoy it's not really even a setback it's more like a pause..— Rashaad Samples (@10justscored) March 27, 2012
And if he needs any more motivation to come back quickly, there's always the chance to go against the top prep players in the country at The Opening to provide a little extra incentive.