Samuel’s exploits then got him a scholarship to the University of Georgia where he was a member of the Bulldogs from 2008-2012.
Over his playing career, Samuel picked up a few things about the game, and now is relaying what he learned to Bartow youngsters at his three-day football skills camp that began Thursday at Hamilton Crossing.
“What I’m going for is I’m trying to teach these young kids the fundamentals of football. I want to show them the basics, so that’s why we’re starting off from ages 6-12, because that’s more of the developmental age for kids. We’re going to show them the fundamentals, the basics of the sport,” Samuel said. “This is the only place I thought about doing the camp. I live in Gwinnett, but this is where I grew up at, this is where I played that got me to Georgia, so I wanted to come here and contribute and give back.”
This is Samuel’s first year holding the camp, although he has helped each summer with Cass’ summer football camp and has long considered holding one of his own.
“I’ve thought about it over the years while I was at Georgia,” Samuel said of starting his own camp. “I just never really executed it because I was playing over the years. Now I have the freedom of taking the summer off from school. It’s something that I’ve dreamed of, wanted to do and I was finally able to set it up with the Bartow County Parks and Recreation Department.”
Samuel certainly has a lot of knowledge to pass on to Bartow County youth as he was selected to the 2008 SuperPrep Elite 50, All-America and All-Dixie teams his senior season. In addition, he was a PrepStar Top 135 Dream Team, 2007 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super 11 and Super Southern 100 selection. He also was a Class AAA 2007 Georgia Sports Writers Association and Atlanta Journal-Constitution Class AAA All-State selection as a linebacker, among other accolades.
As a senior at Cass in 2007, he rushed for 1,429 yards and 24 touchdowns with 114 yards receiving and recorded 82 tackles, including nine for losses, with two sacks and three fumble recoveries. As a junior, Samuel rushed for 1,342 yards and 19 touchdowns with 251 yards receiving and recorded 76 tackles, including 12 for loss, and three sacks.
He then went to Georgia where he amassed 593 rushing yards in his career, including 395 in 2009. He also had 19 kickoff returns for 401 yards in 2008.
Over the course of his time at Georgia he was used as a tailback, fullback and linebacker. The multiple position changes and wrist surgery to repair ligaments damaged in the 2009 Capital One Bowl set Samuel back. However, he had tryouts with the Falcons and the Jets last year and has not ruled out making a return to the field. As of now, he is working as a personal trainer in Athens.
“Right now I’m still in training, still talking to my agent. I had a few little tryouts, seeing what they might be expecting, what they might be wanting. I’m still working out, still training, still working with my speed coach at Georgia and just staying in shape, seeing if anyone wants to talk,” he said. “I’m starting to convert into sports training. I’m opening up a facility in Athens for middle school to high school athletes who are trying to get to the next level. I have a degree, undergrad, in sports management and I’m going back for my masters in sports management.”
Samuel hopes to combine his playing experience with his passion for teaching youth to provide a positive experience for the attendees of his camp.
“I don’t know if they remember what I did at Cass. I just can hope that it will leave an impact,” Samuel said on whether his success at Cass will resonate with the campers. “The position I played was running back and fullback and also linebacker. Linebacker is the key position on a defense and running back is the second key position to the quarterback on offense, so playing both sides, I feel I can help coach and train kids based on the way I was coached and trained to do, and help mold them.”
Samuel is not expecting to have more than 10 campers, but feels that a small number will help him give more individual attention to those who do attend.
“I’m not sure. Probably eight to 10 [campers], not a big number,” Samuel said of what he is expecting. “For my first camp, I’m glad it’s not a big number so I can focus more on the individual kids. If it’s not a big turnout, it won’t be a letdown. I just want to come out here have fun and have the kids say, ‘I learned something every day that I came out here.’”