"I talked to my parents about it again and we did it [Wednesday] night. I wanted to sleep on it and pray a lot. I wanted to make sure this is what I wanted for myself."
Samuel, a 6-foot-6, 270-pound lineman from Macon (Ga.) Stratford Academy, selected UNC over scholarship offers from nine other schools, including Boston College, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami, Mississippi State, Missouri, and Mississippi.
"UNC was one of the first schools that I actually fell in love with," Samuel said. "From an academic standpoint of the school and the athletic standpoint of the school and all the opportunity they have there, I just felt like it was a good idea for me to commit. Plus, I love the campus, I love all the coaches, I love the area – I fell in love with it from the first time that I visited."
The UNC offer surfaced less than two weeks ago. Although Samuel had strong feelings at that time, his parents were out of town. He wanted to wait for them to return to sit down and discuss the situation.
At UNC's camp last summer, Samuel worked out at defensive end. However, UNC is recruiting him primarily as an offensive tackle.
"They've talked about me playing some offensive tackle, because of my speed and my potential," Samuel said. "I'm really open to playing either way. I consider myself a football player and not really a one-sided person. I love the game and I want to contribute as soon as I can. Wherever they put me, I'm going to work as hard as I can.
"They just want to see what I can do [once I'm on campus]. I could go either way at this point. They just want to see where I can reach my full potential at."
Samuel has started at defensive end for Stratford Academy since his sophomore season. He'll be a two-way starter – starting also at offensive tackle – this coming season.
Samuel followed his UNC camp stay with return visits to Chapel Hill for the football game against East Carolina and the junior day in February.
"At the junior day, I learned a lot about the coaching staff and what I'd be doing if I came there and the environment," Samuel said. "With both visits, I fell in love with it."
UNC assistant coaches Chris Kapilovic and Vic Koenning teamed to recruit Samuel.
"Coach Vic was the first coach to show an interest in me," Samuel said. "Since I went to the camp, he followed me all the way to this point and we developed a really good relationship.
"Coach Kap got involved maybe a couple of months ago. And I love him. He's a really, really, really good guy. He seems like he knows a lot about what he's doing. He's going to have three guys in the NFL draft, so he must know what he's doing."
Besides football, Samuel is a member of Stratford Academy's track-and-field team. He participates in the 4x100 and 4x400, and throws the discus and shot put. His best 100-meter dash is 12 seconds.