Asante Samuel Jr. slipped to the center of the pack in the course of write-up-practice sprints in Florida State University’s slide football camp.
But following a dialogue with defensive coordinator Adam Fuller, Samuel by no means enable it happen once more.
“I just enable him know in get for you to be the player that you want to be and the participant we need you to be, that’s not how that requirements to conclusion observe with the conditioning, and from that day on, I in no way observed him end wherever but at the entrance of the team, if not very first,” Fuller stated in a modern cell phone job interview with the Beacon Journal. “It didn’t consider a great deal. You just experienced to enable him know what that regular was.
“You never experienced to address it once again. I really don’t feel that’s a knock on him. That just goes to display what are the expectations, and then he is prepared to do whatsoever it is.”
Whichever team picks Samuel in the April 29-Could 1 NFL Draft will also have superior expectations for the standout cornerback. He’s projected to grow to be a very first- or 2nd-round choice and could desire the Browns, who have a have to have at his posture and selections late in the very first two rounds (Nos. 26 and 59 total).
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If Samuel is just not Cleveland-bound, he’ll glimpse ahead to matching up just one working day with the Browns’ most superior-profile broad receiver.
“There are a large amount of great receivers in the NFL. Week by week, you can go up from Odell Beckham [Jr. of the Browns], Julio Jones [of the Atlanta Falcons], Stefon Diggs [of the Buffalo Bills]. I can title a good deal,” Samuel stated very last month by using Zoom for the duration of his pro day media session. “But whoever I participate in to start with, that’s who I want to make my name off of.”
Samuel will not have a issue with identify recognition, although. His father, Asante Samuel Sr., played cornerback for 11 seasons (2003-13) in the NFL, created four Professional Bowls and received two Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, who drafted him in the fourth spherical out of the College of Central Florida.
“He just tried to let me do my personal issue,” the young Samuel said. “He just attempted to enable me make my own journey and just aided me a tiny bit throughout the way.”
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Samuel, 21, attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where the football staff captured a condition championship in each individual of his initial a few a long time there. His three seasons at Florida State were not as successful — with information of 5-7 in 2018, 6-7 in 2019 and 3-6 in 2020 — however he felt the accountability of remaining the team’s most effective participant this past year, when he served as a captain and coach Mike Norvell challenged him to come to be a extra vocal leader.
“Asante’s an emotional participant in a positive way,” reported Fuller, whom Florida Condition employed on Dec. 12, 2019. “He’s not one particular to speak a whole lot or operate his mouth, but he is very passionate about football. So if points are going nicely, he’s going to provide a large amount of electrical power. If things usually are not likely very well, you are likely to see him try out to solve it with his very own strength and try to make a participate in or produce that.
“I think he’s acquired a small behind-the-scenes management to him, but he is absolutely much more of a ‘do as I do, not as I say’ temperament, which I imagine is a beneficial detail and one that you see far more DBs have than not, just mainly because they’re on the perimeter and usually you have guys a small extra concentrated onto on their own with their perform.”
Samuel’s participate in enhanced in his a few collegiate seasons, the final two as a comprehensive-time starter. He surrendered 6 landing passes in 2018, but just two across his final 20 video games, Dane Brugler, an analyst for The Athletic, wrote in his draft manual. According to ProFootballFocus.com, the passer ratings Samuel allowed on balls thrown into his protection dropped each and every time: 109.1 in 2018, 75 in 2019 and 46.2 in 2020.
As a junior in 2020, Samuel commenced all eight online games in which he appeared and compiled 31 tackles, a few interceptions, 6 pass breakups, a compelled fumble and two fumble recoveries. He opted out soon after 8 games and declared for the draft (he had missed just one particular other sport at Florida State). He was voted first-crew All-ACC.
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Fuller concluded Samuel “has the makeup to be a seriously good” NFL participant.
“There’s fellas that are just talented ample, but are not mentally talented more than enough to offer with what it takes each individual day to develop into a profitable professional,” Fuller claimed. “Maybe it is really from developing up all-around it, but the instant will not be way too massive for him.
“He’s really substantially into creating his craft, performing at it, competing. So from that standpoint, he is pretty significant. He is undoubtedly inclined to pay attention to great ideas and use it. He would like to do items the right way. I imagine general you happen to be having a dude which is experienced to do the things he desires to do in buy to be successful in the match he loves.”
At 5-foot-10 and 180 lbs, Samuel is about the same dimension as Browns standout cornerback Denzel Ward. Samuel credits his extreme nature for letting him to fare properly from receivers who are considerably larger sized.
“You have to have a dawg mentality,” mentioned Samuel, who posted an unofficial time of 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard sprint all through Florida State’s pro day. “Some even larger guys, they really don’t have that dawg in them, so at the time you have that dawg, it would make a difference. You’ve just obtained to remain true to your strategies you’ve got been working on all week — remaining sq. at the line, building sure you’re receiving arms on [them] and performing what you have to have to do.”
Fuller mentioned there weren’t far too numerous instances Samuel got outjumped for passes. He experienced 33 passes defensed in 32 video games at Florida State.
Beneath Fuller, Florida State generally played man coverage. Most of Samuel’s interceptions transpired when Fuller blended in zone protection.
“He’s received the speed to be in a position to participate in person coverage, but I do consider he is bought good experience and excellent instincts to be able to perform some zone coverage,” Fuller claimed. “It’s all significant. Most people performs both equally. He is definitely obtained a knack for remaining all-around the ball and finishing performs in zone protection.
“He gets from A to B with really restricted wasted movement, so I feel his closing pace and his acceleration is really substantial conclusion.”
Fuller said he also believes Samuel’s quickness and change of direction would make him a great slot corner at the upcoming level. In higher education, Samuel performed 1,454 snaps at outside the house corner compared with just 196 snaps in the slot, in accordance to PFF. The break up very last year was 466 and 15.
“Of training course, I really feel like I’m an outside the house dude. I’ve been enjoying outdoors all my daily life,” Samuel reported. “I played nickel sometimes, [111 snaps] my sophomore [year and 70 snaps my] freshman calendar year, but at the finish of the day, I make my performs on the exterior. I come to feel like I’m a dominant corner on the exterior.
“[Draft analysts] attempt to seem at my height and say things of that character, but I’m the exact dimension as [Green Bay Packers Pro Bowler] Jaire Alexander, and he is a dominant NFL cornerback proper now — one of the most effective in the league. So I come to feel like size doesn’t matter. It truly is about the heart and the dawg mentality you have on that subject.”
These attributes must assist Samuel evolve as a tackler.
“There were some games his tackling was not to the point that he desired to be,” Fuller mentioned. “But the great factor about him is usually when you coach him, it gets mounted straight away, whether it’s system, whether it is an angle, no matter if it is an assignment.”
By PFF’s count, Samuel missed 5 tackles previous time.
“You cannot just be a cover corner and expect to thrive in the NFL or in college,” Samuel explained. “You have to be a tackling corner, so I delight myself in tackling.”
The common will only grow to be extra demanding in the NFL, but Fuller considers Samuel all set.
Nate Ulrich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.