FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Most high-ranking high school prospects would be lucky to have a former NFL player on their respective high school’s coaching staff. For Asante Samuel Jr., the rising sophomore defensive back has an 11-year NFL veteran waiting for him after school each day.
As the son of longtime New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons defensive back Asante Samuel, the younger athlete has grown accustomed to the game much quicker than most recruits.
“It helped me in the mental part of the game,” Samuel Jr. told Today’s U. “Like being more advanced at a young age.”
This season, Samuel Jr. has helped St. Thomas Aquinas, a perennial powerhouse program, to a 7-1 record on the verge of the district championship. Samuel Jr. has also amassed 28 tackles, five pass break ups and two interceptions on the season.
“It’s been going good,” Samuel Jr. said. “The last couple games I’ve been doing good on defense. Overall, I’m doing whatever it takes to make my team win. I don’t really care about stats or nothing like that.”
According to 247Sports.com, Samuel Jr. is listed as a 4-star prospect and the No. 6 cornerback in the entire country for the class of 2018.
“I just play off instinct,” Samuel Jr. said. “I react to the ball and the play based on my instincts. I’m quick to the ball.”
With over 20 offers to his name at this juncture, Samuel Jr. detailed his recruitment with Today’s U and touched on his take on his high level of collegiate interest so early on.
“It’s been going good,” Samuel Jr. said. “All the coaches from all the teams that offered me, they are really good schools and really good programs. I am just blessed to have the opportunity.”
This season, Samuel Jr. has not been on many recruiting visits, but the highly coveted defensive back has taken one unofficial visit to Miami.
“It went good,” Samuel Jr. said. “They showed a lot of love. It feels at home up there. I don’t know how the it will feel up there or how the atmosphere up there will change [without Al Golden], so we will have to wait and see how it goes up there.”
With many schools in pursuit, Michigan offered Samuel Jr. back in the spring and the 5’10”, 160-pound corner touched on his reaction to picking up an offer from the Wolverines’ coaching staff.
“I found out when my coach told me,” Samuel Jr. said. “The coaches can’t talk to me as a freshman, so my coach told me and I was excited to have a scholarship to their school. I was still really new to it because I was a freshman and didn’t really know much about it.”
With offers from a variety of programs, Samuel Jr. says that he is unsure whether or not distance will play a factor in his recruitment.
“I might want to get away from Florida,” Samuel Jr. said. “But it kind of depends on how I’m feeling senior year. Right now, I don’t really know where to go.”
As for which factors will play a prominent role in his decision, Samuel Jr. listed tradition, atmosphere, academics and fan loyalty as key areas.