Vaught on Sam Simpson: Part 3 of 5

Both Smith and Simpson had sons who played quarterback for them in high school. Since Smith's son, who now plays at Western Kentucky, is a year older than Simpson's oldest son, the Henry Clay coach called to ask him for advice about playing his own son at quarterback.

Both Smith and Simpson had sons who played quarterback for them in high school. Since Smith's son, who now plays at Western Kentucky, is a year older than Simpson's oldest son, the Henry Clay coach called to ask him for advice about playing his own son at quarterback.

"He said, 'Quit trying to give everybody a chance. He is your quarterback, play him.' For him to do that was huge. I forgot about what others thought and then (my son) Salin had a great career. For him to say that to me and knowing his own son went through it was special. But it shows what kind of guy he is," Sam Simpson said.

As the player grew to respect Smith more, the UK assistant did something that not every coach might be confident enough to do.

"A lot of coaches would come in, see the highlight film and then not want anybody else to see it. Chuck saw Samuel's film and said, 'He is a heck of a player. I want him at Kentucky bad. It would be silly not to want him. But let him test the waters and see what is out there,'" the Henry Clay coach said.

Smith encouraged Sam Simpson to take his son for a recruiting service to evaluate. Not long after that, the player was ranked as the nation's No. 1 prep center.

"For Chuck to say that to recruit tells me the confidence he has in what Kentucky has to offer. He was willing let Samuel get exposed to Alabama, Tennessee, Auburn, Vandy, Virginia and Illinois and compare them to Kentucky. When Chuck spoke to Samuel that way, Samuel trusted him and his instincts," Sam Simpson said.

Those visits to other schools eventually enabled the player to view not only other athletic facilities, but also potential career paths.

While it would be no surprise to learn Sam Simpson has contemplated a professional career, it might be a surprise to know that law and cooking are two other career options he has in mind.

"He is a heck of a cook," his father said. "All those genes come from his mother, too. If we go on vacation, even his brother requests that he make the meals."


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