At that size he seems to be an idea safety. At that size, he'd be, on paper, a stellar running back, too. And at that size, he'd be perhaps an ideal receiver coming out of the slot. But a cornerback? A legit cornerback?
There's a reason that cornerbacks in the NFL can still be 5-8 and have jobs even with receivers becoming bigger than they have ever been. It's about hips, flexibility in them and being able to do everything needed while in the midst of a dead sprint off a back pedal.
That's a lot to ask, and the bigger they are the harder it is for them to athletically meet expectations.
Not for Samuels though. He may see in the eyes of the receivers he faces that very belief that someone his size can't possibly be all that athletic. But Samuels says they are in for a big surprise. "They think you can't move or they think one cut here or whatever, you can't stay with them, but I can stay with them all," Samuels said, who notched close to 60 tackles as a junior, including two sacks and two pass deflections. "It doesn't take long for them to figure that out."
And it's not just the bigger guys who find out that you can judge a book by its cover. It's the shifty-smaller guys who learn that same lesson as well. "The little dudes all think they can get away from me, but they get shocked when I can stay with them," the 4.40-corner said. "Whether I am playing them on the line or off, I can stay with them."
With his kind of versatility, it's no wonder almost the entire western side of the country is sending him letters, and it's equally unsurprising that the offers have been coming as well, Samuels saying that he was already in double-digits, including Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, Cal, Washington State, Nebraska, Boise State, Fresno State and Stanford.
How do you make sense of all this attention, especially when you have offers from as near as the in-state Bears to the Huskers who are over a thousand miles away in Lincoln, Nebraska? "I don't care who is who and where they are at. It's about who is recruiting you," he said. "You can be USC, and they are talking to me, too, but you still have to do the recruiting. I know some will commit to someplace just because of who they are, but I'm not one of those."
One wouldn't expect a California-kid to know a whole lot about the Midwestern tradition-rich Huskers. But it's that tradition which Samuels knows plenty about. "They were something back in the day, beating everyone and winning a lot of titles," he said. "And I know they have put a lot of corners in the league."
That is the extent of it, though, as Samuels looks to learn more about Nebraska, but even though he has some of his eventual official visits figured out, but not scheduled, he doesn't know about the Huskers just yet. "Officially, I am pretty sure I will go see Cal, Oregon and Arizona State, but I don't know about the other two yet," he said.
As for when Samuels plans on making a decision, he's in no hurry to settle on where he'll be attending college. There is more research to do, visits to take and a final season of prep-ball to be played. It will all work itself out, he contends as he's got time for all the current schools and potentially more schools, to get a good feel for him and for him to get a good feel for them all.
"I'm not in any real hurry. I just want to find the best place for me, see who is recruiting me the hardest and who has the best combination of everything," he said. "I know I can play, and I am serious at wanting to get better. I'll figure out where that place is I can do that at some point, but I don't know when."