Dutchtown’s Sampson signs with Tennessee

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Alongside his family, Dutchtown running back Dylan Sampson signed with Tennessee.

Chalk up another Dutchtown great headed for the SEC.

On Wednesday night, the Griffins’ all-time leading rusher Dylan Sampson made it official as he signed his letters of intent to continue his football career at the University of Tennessee.

With his move to Knoxville, Sampson is just the latest Dutchtown football star to sign with an SEC team, joining former Griffin greats such as Eric Reid (LSU), Eddie Lacy (Alabama), Landon Collins (Alabama), Shelby Christy (Mississippi State), Lloyd Cushenberry (LSU) and Adam Sparks (Missouri).

Sampson eclipsed Lacy as the school’s all-time leading rusher this past season. He finished with 4,927 career rushing yards.

Sampson also broke the school record for most rushing yards in a single game, which was also held by Lacy, when he rushed for 287 yards in a 42-33 victory over Ouachita Christian.

It’s been quite an amazing journey for Sampson.

He burst onto the scene as a sophomore, when he ended up having his best year as a Griffin. Sampson finished the season with 1,827 yards and 24 touchdowns. That was good enough to make him All-State and the Ascension Parish Offensive MVP.

Despite playing just eight games as a junior, Sampson rushed for 1,327 more yards with an additional 15 touchdowns. Again, he was named All-State and Ascension Parish Offensive MVP.

This past season, Sampson fought through some injuries and still put up 1,374 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns. When it came to all-purpose yards, he piled up 1,673.

Sampson has also excelled from the track. Last spring, he recorded a time of 10.48 in the 100-meter dash, the fastest 100 for anyone in the Baton Rouge area.

He has been heavily recruited for the past two years. He’s received scholarship offers from a slew of schools that include Michigan State, Penn State, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Arkansas and N.C. State.

Recently, 247sports upgraded Sampson to a four-star prospect. The recruiting service ranks him as the 30th-best running back in the country and the 15th-best 2022 prospect in Louisiana.

It was back in June that Sampson committed to first-year head coach Josh Heupel and Tennessee.

On signing day, Tennessee running backs coach Jerry Mack had plenty of great things to say about the Volunteers’ newest weapon on offense.

“Dylan brings home-run ability,” Mack said. “Everybody loves the sexy runs, the big 75-yard touchdowns. That’s one of his specialties right now. He has the ability to do that every time he touches the ball.

“He’s not the biggest back in the world, but he does do a great job of running between the tackles. He has a great knack and great patience for playing the running back position. A lot of times when you get track guys, all they want to do is bounce runs outside all the time, but you can see the patience he has in between the tackles, to set up blocks and use his speed.”

Sampson will join one of the most explosive offenses in the SEC. Tennessee has averaged 466 yards and 39 points so far this season.

Sampson will make his return to Louisiana next October, when the Volunteers visit LSU.