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Old 04-20-2010, 12:20 AM   #1
A Son of Martha

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Default All-around threat Tranks looks to bounce back at Seton Hill

All-around threat Tranks looks to bounce back at Seton Hill
By Paul Schofield
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sammy Tranks electrified the crowds every time he touched the ball during his junior year at Seton Hill.

The speedster from Philadelphia's Martin Luther King High School turned heads as a receiver and a return specialist. He set numerous records in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and his performance caught the eye of some NFL scouts.

Good thing, because Tranks' senior season didn't go as well. It was marred by injuries, and his statistics suffered.

He sprained his right ankle during the third game, then sprained the medical collateral ligament in his right knee two games later.

"It was definitely frustrating not being able to compete with my teammates," he said. "It was a learning experience for me. I learned that any play can be your last, and it humbled me."

Tranks is healthy now and in better shape than ever. He hopes his hard work pays off at the NFL Draft, which begins Thursday.

"I'm not really going to worry about the draft," Tranks said. "I'm going to Maryland with my brother. I'll probably watch it and wait. If I don't get drafted, I hope to sign with an NFL team as a free agent. All I want is a chance."

Tranks attended pro days at Duquesne and Temple and said he has received interested from the Steelers, Eagles, Vikings and Rams. The 5-foot-10, 187-pound Tranks has been timed at 4.47 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

"I wasn't too pleased with my first pro day at Duquesne, but I did a lot better at Temple," Tranks said. "The entire experience has been great."

Tranks has an ardent supporter in Seton Hill coach Joel Dolinsky.

"Sammy is someone who could change the outcome of a game," he said. "He was the focus of our offense and special teams. When he got injured during his senior season, it hurt our whole team."

Tranks caught 63 passes for 826 yards and seven touchdowns in his junior season. He also was a special teams force, returning four punts for touchdowns and averaging 23.6 yards per return. He also returned a kickoff for a score.

That season, he was named to the Associated Press' Little All-America third team as an all-purpose player. He was an All-WVIAC first team receiver and kick returner and was named the co-specialist of the year by Don Hansen's Football Gazette.

"Sam is a fearless guy on the field," Dolinsky said. "Every time he had the ball in his hands, he could score."

Dolinsky made calls to some scouts after Tranks' stellar junior season.

"After watching him work out, people realized he could play," Dolinsky said. "NFL teams know about him. He didn't like his pro days, but he was solid.

"It's a great opportunity for him and the football program by giving us some exposure."

Paul Schofield can be reached at pschofield@tribweb.com or 724-853-2109.
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: All-around threat Tranks looks to bounce back at Seton Hill

Wow I looked this kid's numbers in 2008 when he was healthy and he had 4 kick returning/punt returning TDs (3 on punts). While Loga is one of the best in the business in kick returns, I think we could use a boost in the punt returning game. Maybe this Tranks guy can fit the bill. Local guy, too. Hopefully we bring him in after the draft.
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