Chad Simmons

’18 cornerback Samuel needs no ND intro

Asante Samuel Jr. got to know Notre Dame long before it offered him this week. Irish commitment Drew White introduced the four-star sophomore cornerback, who owns NFL bloodlines, to the Irish well in advance.

Asante Samuel Jr. didn't need Notre Dame coaches to introduce their program.

Linebacker Drew White took care of that long before assistant coaches made their way to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for a stop at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. White has been talking up the Irish to his teammates at Aquinas since making a commitment March 21.

Samuel, a four-star cornerback in the Class of 2018, has been listening. White, who visited for Junior Day and pledged shortly thereafter, helped get the ball rolling in terms of mutual interest.

“Right now I haven’t really been in contact with anybody,” Samuel said. “I can’t talk to anybody right now because I’m a sophomore still. But when Drew called them they talked about me a little bit.”

Notre Dame followed up with Samuel on Tuesday by offering a scholarship. Aquinas defensive end Lashawn Paulino-Bell and defensive tackle Kivon Bennett, both in the Class of 2017, also added Irish offers.

White has filled Samuel in on some of the things that drew his attention to the program in the first place, eventually resulting in his commitment.

“Just the coaching there,” Samuel said. “They have great coaching. Then the area. (Indiana) is a beautiful place … Then academic-wise, it’s second to none except for like Harvard and stuff like that.”

Dozens more major college programs have offered the 5-foot-10, 165-pound prospect.

Alabama, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, Arkansas, Clemson, Georgia, Louisville, LSU, Michigan State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia are just some of the offers Samuel has collected.

Samuel said he’s “taking it slow,” but admitted a couple in-state programs have distinguished themselves early. Familiarity is a major component.

“I wouldn't say they’re leaders but Florida State and Miami are a little bit in front of the other schools,” Samuel said. “It’s only because I’ve visited there and I got to meet the coaches and the players. I have like a small relationship with them.”

Samuel, however, sees a long way to go before the recruiting finish line. Sometime this summer he expects to make a round of visits along with Aquinas teammates. The programs that will play host are yet to be determined.

“Anything can happen in the next two years," Samuel said.

In the meantime, Samuel plans to finish off spring practice by continuing to hone his technique.

He already has NFL bloodlines. Samuel’s father, also named Asante, spent 11 seasons in the league after a standout college career at UCF. The elder Samuel won two Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, twice led the league in interceptions and was first team All-Pro in 2007.

Needless to say, plenty of that skill set has passed down a generation.

“My strength is probably I’m a team player,” Samuel said. “I make plays when my team needs them. I play off instincts.”

http://www.scout.com/player/196436-asante-samuel?s=109


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories