Asante Samuel Jr. slipped to the middle of the pack for the duration of post-apply sprints in Florida Condition University’s drop football camp.
But after a conversation with defensive coordinator Adam Fuller, Samuel in no way permit it materialize all over again.
“I just let him know in purchase for you to be the player that you want to be and the participant we need to have you to be, that’s not how that demands to close observe with the conditioning, and from that day on, I never saw him complete any where but at the front of the group, if not initially,” Fuller mentioned in a the latest cell phone interview with the Beacon Journal. “It didn’t just take a large amount. You just experienced to enable him know what that normal was.
“You never had to address it yet again. I really don’t feel which is a knock on him. That just goes to show what are the anticipations, and then he’s ready to do whatever it is.”
Whichever staff picks Samuel in the April 29-May perhaps 1 NFL Draft will also have substantial expectations for the standout cornerback. He’s projected to become a very first- or next-spherical selection and could interest the Browns, who have a need to have at his situation and alternatives late in the 1st two rounds (Nos. 26 and 59 total).
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If Samuel is not Cleveland-bound, he’ll appear ahead to matching up 1 working day with the Browns’ most substantial-profile huge receiver.
“There are a great deal of good receivers in the NFL. Week by week, you can go up against Odell Beckham [Jr. of the Browns], Julio Jones [of the Atlanta Falcons], Stefon Diggs [of the Buffalo Bills]. I can name a large amount,” Samuel reported last month by using Zoom throughout his professional day media session. “But whoever I engage in to start with, which is who I want to make my identify off of.”
Samuel won’t have a issue with title recognition, even though. His father, Asante Samuel Sr., played cornerback for 11 seasons (2003-13) in the NFL, built 4 Professional Bowls and won two Tremendous Bowls with the New England Patriots, who drafted him in the fourth spherical out of the University of Central Florida.
“He just experimented with to allow me do my personal point,” the youthful Samuel explained. “He just tried out to enable me make my own journey and just assisted me a little bit in the course of the way.”
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Samuel, 21, attended St. Thomas Aquinas Large College in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., wherever the football crew captured a point out championship in just about every of his to start with 3 decades there. His 3 seasons at Florida Condition weren’t as effective — with documents of 5-7 in 2018, 6-7 in 2019 and 3-6 in 2020 — still he felt the obligation of getting the team’s finest participant this previous 12 months, when he served as a captain and mentor Mike Norvell challenged him to come to be a more vocal chief.
“Asante’s an emotional participant in a favourable way,” claimed Fuller, whom Florida Condition hired on Dec. 12, 2019. “He’s not one to converse a ton or operate his mouth, but he’s pretty passionate about football. So if matters are going effectively, he’s heading to source a whole lot of electricity. If issues usually are not heading very well, you are heading to see him check out to clear up it with his own electricity and try out to make a engage in or develop that.
“I consider he’s acquired a small powering-the-scenes leadership to him, but he’s surely far more of a ‘do as I do, not as I say’ temperament, which I imagine is a positive matter and a person that you see far more DBs have than not, just simply because they’re on the perimeter and usually you have guys a minimal much more targeted onto themselves with their perform.”
Samuel’s engage in enhanced in his 3 collegiate seasons, the previous two as a complete-time starter. He surrendered 6 touchdown passes in 2018, but just two throughout his final 20 online games, Dane Brugler, an analyst for The Athletic, wrote in his draft manual. In accordance to ProFootballFocus.com, the passer scores Samuel allowed on balls thrown into his protection dropped every single season: 109.1 in 2018, 75 in 2019 and 46.2 in 2020.
As a junior in 2020, Samuel begun all eight online games in which he appeared and compiled 31 tackles, 3 interceptions, 6 pass breakups, a compelled fumble and two fumble recoveries. He opted out following 8 online games and declared for the draft (he had skipped just one particular other sport at Florida Point out). He was voted initially-staff All-ACC.
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Fuller concluded Samuel “has the makeup to be a genuinely good” NFL participant.
“There’s men that are just talented plenty of, but are not mentally talented more than enough to deal with what it takes each and every day to become a prosperous professional,” Fuller explained. “Maybe it is really from rising up close to it, but the moment will not be much too large for him.
“He’s pretty considerably into building his craft, performing at it, competing. So from that standpoint, he’s incredibly critical. He is unquestionably prepared to hear to good tips and use it. He wishes to do factors the correct way. I believe general you might be getting a person that is experienced to do the factors he requires to do in purchase to be prosperous in the sport he loves.”
At 5-foot-10 and 180 kilos, Samuel is about the very same sizing as Browns standout cornerback Denzel Ward. Samuel credits his intensive character for enabling him to fare properly against receivers who are substantially more substantial.
“You have to have a dawg mentality,” mentioned Samuel, who posted an unofficial time of 4.38 seconds in the 40-lawn sprint throughout Florida State’s professional working day. “Some larger men, they don’t have that dawg in them, so the moment you have that dawg, it would make a change. You’ve got just obtained to stay correct to your techniques you have been functioning on all 7 days — staying square at the line, earning confident you might be having hands on [them] and carrying out what you want to do.”
Fuller mentioned there weren’t way too a lot of periods Samuel got outjumped for passes. He had 33 passes defensed in 32 online games at Florida Point out.
Under Fuller, Florida State commonly played guy coverage. Most of Samuel’s interceptions transpired when Fuller blended in zone protection.
“He’s got the speed to be equipped to engage in male coverage, but I do consider he’s acquired good come to feel and very good instincts to be ready to enjoy some zone protection,” Fuller mentioned. “It’s all vital. Everyone plays each. He’s undoubtedly acquired a knack for being all around the ball and ending plays in zone coverage.
“He will get from A to B with quite minimal squandered movement, so I consider his closing speed and his acceleration is truly significant close.”
Fuller claimed he also believes Samuel’s quickness and change of course would make him a fantastic slot corner at the upcoming degree. In college or university, Samuel played 1,454 snaps at outside corner in comparison with just 196 snaps in the slot, in accordance to PFF. The split final year was 466 and 15.
“Of study course, I come to feel like I’m an outdoors guy. I have been playing outside all my life,” Samuel said. “I played nickel occasionally, [111 snaps] my sophomore [year and 70 snaps my] freshman 12 months, but at the stop of the working day, I make my plays on the outside. I really feel like I am a dominant corner on the exterior.
“[Draft analysts] try out to seem at my top and say issues of that mother nature, but I am the identical dimensions as [Green Bay Packers Pro Bowler] Jaire Alexander, and he’s a dominant NFL cornerback ideal now — one of the most effective in the league. So I come to feel like dimensions will not make any difference. It is really about the heart and the dawg mentality you have on that discipline.”
Individuals characteristics should assist Samuel evolve as a tackler.
“There have been some game titles his tackling wasn’t to the place that he needed to be,” Fuller mentioned. “But the fantastic thing about him is typically once you coach him, it receives set right away, no matter if it’s strategy, no matter if it is an angle, whether it truly is an assignment.”
By PFF’s depend, Samuel skipped 5 tackles last season.
“You won’t be able to just be a protect corner and count on to thrive in the NFL or in college,” Samuel claimed. “You have to be a tackling corner, so I pride myself in tackling.”
The regular will only grow to be a lot more demanding in the NFL, but Fuller considers Samuel ready.
Nate Ulrich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.