Sample, who arrived at U of L last weekend, made several impressive plays at safety in the first practice of the new season on Tuesday morning, including one ball he batted down that appeared to be going for a long gain.
"I want to get noticed," Sample said.
And he also said he wants to do something else in his first few weeks at U of L - compete for a starting spot with the Cardinals.
"Oh yeah," he said. "I wouldn't have come if I didn't think I couldn't do that."
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Sample could be a huge addition at a spot U of L lacks depth.
He played two years at Washington but didn't play a lot because of injuries. He played last fall at a junior college in California and just last week found out he was eligible to play at U of L this fall. He had committed to the Cardinals on a visit in the spring.
"It was tough," he said. "But after I got everything cleared up, I was excited to get my plane ticket and get down here. It was a relief. Once I got everything cleared up, I was ready. I always have faith in what I do."
Sample did miss summer conditioning but said he was "really in my (play) book" at home and spoke with the coaches a lot.
"I have to study a lot on my own and have to spend a lot of time with the coaches," he said. "I just have to do the little things to catch up, make sure I stay in my book.
"When I came up here this summer they said safety was a need, so I said 'Say no more'."
Sample said he was ready for camp when he arrived after working out with a personal trainer in California this summer.
"It's about making an impression," he said. "The first impression is the best impression."