With this Northstar Football News recruiting profile, we head to the East Metro to chat with 2020 NFN prospect Sam Haskins who plays linebacker for East Ridge. We chatted with Sam about his season with the Raptors, what’s on his recruiting trail, and things he learned about himself as a player this season and much more.
Sam Haskins, Class of 2020 (Senior)
High School Program: East Ridge
Get to Know Sam Haskins
Haskins is an inside linebacker for the East Ridge Raptors that led the Raptors in total tackles with 90 on the season. In the Raptor’s defense, the linebackers hold a huge role based on what the offense comes out in and making sure guys are in the right place and the right time based on that offense. Haskins is the captain on defense for the Raptors and brought a great leadership role to being a captain with also being a great playmaker on the field. His speed at inside linebacker makes him a threat sideline to sideline and he used his strength to muscle up to get the quarterback, which he created 3 sacks and 3 quarterback hurries this season as well. Sam also said his other strength is he played running back his junior year, which has given him the vision to see where a play is “supposed to hit” on offense.
Best Parts About Linebacker
Sam’s favorite part about linebacker is the hitting you get to do on every play. “I love grinding down the other team’s offense and making them tap out,” Haskins told Northstar Football News. He also said from a football side, demoralizing the other team with hits is a favorite thing about the game of football as a whole.
Haskins does have some offers on the table, mostly in D-2. Minnesota-Moorhead, Concordia-St. Paul and Minnesota-Morris are all programs that have offered currently. He’s also drawing interest from Winona State, and strong interest from St. Thomas, where he’s completed two gameday visits (one being the Tommy/Johnny game at Allianz Field). Bemidji State is also another interested program as well in Sam’s linebacking talents.
Improvement from the Off-Season by Haskins
Haskins said the Raptor’s coaching staff wanted him to work on his stock and shed, which means “getting off of blocks” Sam said. Haskins worked hard after his junior year on the sleds three days a week and working on his upper body strength every single chance he had during the offseason. Another improvement Haskins had made was his foot speed by loosening his hips. The TNT Academy, which focuses on speed training and strength training, got Sam going with his foot speed. Sam also worked on his core after every workout. Another key thing Haskins did, was stretching 2-3 times a day. Stretching is something I can’t stress enough with high school football. If you want to be your best, stretching will push you that extra mile and get you that that extra weight, etc. for giving your body a break. Haskins has been very active at Raptor Strength & Speed since his freshman year at East Ridge as well.
Although Sam is a defined inside linebacker, his mentor is from his prior position at running back. Randy Spring, who is East Ridge’s running backs and special teams coach, has had an impact on Sam’s life since he was in the 3rd grade. With youth camps from 3rd-6th grade, pushing him during Raptor Speed and Strength, from Sam’s sophomore year of high school, Coach Randy Spring has been there for Sam for quite some time. “He comes to everything with energy and passion,” Haskins told Northstar Football News. Sam said the time Spring puts into coaching is “insane” and the respect Haskins has for Spring is “off the charts”. Spring also has three kids, a full-time teaching job, and won educator of the year last year at East Ridge. “He shaped me in the man I am today and he’s the reason why I love the game of football so much,” Haskins said in his final statement about his mentor, Randy Spring.
Biggest Things Sam Learned About Himself This Season
There are quite a few things Haskins learned about himself this past season. To start, Sam learned that he’s a “natural leader” and knows how strong he is strength-wise. The Raptors finished 6-4 against a really good schedule this season, and Sam stated they “excelled” against the top of the state 6A competition. Another big thing Haskins learned this season is how important pre-snap reads are and how you can read them during the film. “I spent about 4-5 hours a week in the film room, which was among the highest amount of time on the team,” Haskins said. He’s also learned about his football instincts. For example, if his defensive lineman hits the wrong gap, he’s learned how to fill that gap and prevent a big play from happening which did wonders for the Raptors this year. Thanks to Sam Haskins for the recruiting profile!