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Ranking the Contenders: Five-star receiver Shelton Sampson

Shelton Sampson
Shelton Sampson

Five-star receiver Shelton Sampson has offers from top programs around the country but in recent days he narrowed his choices to six.

Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Oregon and Texas A&M made the cut for the Baton Rouge (La.) Catholic standout, who is ranked behind only Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage’s Brandon Inniss at the receiver position in the 2023 class.

In today’s Ranking The Contenders, we take a look at the top schools on Sampson’s list and determine which program has the best shot at landing him.

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1. LSU 

Sampson goes to school just miles from LSU’s campus. He’s a Baton Rouge kid. He has friends on the team. This offseason the five-star receiver has been to campus multiple times to get to know coach Brian Kelly, position coach Cortez Hankton and other coaches as well. There are connections there. Plus, most top-rated Louisiana kids have gone to LSU over the years.

Could it be this easy? Probably not, but there are a ton of built-in advantages for Kelly and his staff, and if they can convince Sampson they will get him the ball on the outside then the Tigers could have a five-star receiver in the class at some point.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH LSU FANS AT TIGERDETAILS.COM

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2. Alabama 

The top three receivers from the state of Louisiana all went to Alabama last recruiting cycle, which is incredibly hard to believe, but assistant coach Pete Golding has tremendous connections in the state.

Aaron Anderson flipped from LSU when Ed Orgeron was not going to be retained and then Shazz Preston and four-star athlete Kendrick Law, who will play receiver in Tuscaloosa, all chose the Crimson Tide.

Sampson has been highly interested in Alabama from the beginning of his recruitment as well and fits the mold of star players for the Tide.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH ALABAMA FANS AT BAMAINSIDER.COM

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3. Florida State

Former Baton Rouge Catholic coach Gabe Fertitta is now an offensive analyst at Florida State, which is one of many reasons why the Seminoles are a real contender in Sampson’s recruitment. The five-star has also hit it off with coach Mike Norvell and others and a recent trip to Tallahassee definitely stood out a lot.

There are reasons why FSU still has room to make up in Sampson’s recruitment, like four-straight losing seasons and not an incredibly dynamic offense. But the five-star has definitely liked his visits there, his old coach is there and his bond with the coaches is strong.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH FLORIDA STATE FANS AT WARCHANT.COM

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4. Texas A&M

Right now, Texas A&M is on the outside looking in when it comes to Sampson’s recruitment, but the longer this goes the better the Aggies’ chances could become. Texas A&M was probably not the leader for many of its top targets at this time last year for the 2022 recruiting class but from coach Jimbo Fisher on down through the coaching staff there is a lot of convincing that could be done.

If Sampson is still looking for the right fit in the coming months then Texas A&M could have an even better chance of landing him.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH TEXAS A&M FANS AT AGGIEYELL.COM

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5. Michigan 

After LSU, Alabama and Florida State, the three other could be considered long shots at this point, but if Sampson ends up visiting soon then the Wolverines could definitely move up the ranks.

It helps that safeties coach Ron Bellamy is a New Orleans native and there could be a connection made there with Louisiana roots, plus the NFL experience on Michigan’s staff. More work needs to be done here.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH MICHIGAN FANS AT MAIZEANDBLUEREVIEW.COM

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6. Oregon 

Sampson has not visited Oregon yet, and if the five-star delays a decision and gets to Eugene – whether this summer or in the fall – then the Ducks should have a better shot.

First-year coach Dan Lanning getting Oregon in Sampson’s top six could be considered a win in itself, but the Ducks are shooting for more than that and his SEC connections can definitely help. Plus, position coach Junior Adams is a great recruiter.

Still, it feels like a stretch to see Sampson heading to Oregon at this point.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH OREGON FANS AT DUCKSPORTSAUTHORITY.COM

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CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

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