One-on-One with Ra'Shaad Samples

Oklahoma State received some great recruiting news with recent commitments from Georgia cornerback Darius Curry and wide receiver Ra'Shaad Samples, the Dallas Skyline High School standout who is considered one of the top receivers in Texas. Samples had narrowed his choices to six schools including Ohio State, USC, and Texas along with the Cowboys. His announcement created a buzz with OSU fans.

We spoke with Samples on the radio Tuesday after he had recovered from his jet lag on a red eye back from Portland, Ore., to DFW on Sunday night and Monday morning.

Question: Because you are recovering from that foot injury, you ended up being a snapper for your team in the Nike 7on competition?
Samples: Yes, I was for the whole tournament. They told me they weren't going to find a more dynamic snapper than me.

Question: We noticed you were tossing the ball back to the quarterback with your iPod in?
Samples: I was jamming, and they told me to have fun while I was doing it. I kind of figured out his count, so I had him down and I knew exactly when I was going to snap the ball every time. (His quarterback was Cooper Bateman out of Salt Lake City Cottonwood who is committed to Alabama.)

Question: You had it down to six schools, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, USC, Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech. How hard was this decision for you?
Samples: It was really hard and Coach (Mike Gundy) made it easier. I really got familiar with Coach Gundy and Coach (Kasey) Dunn. A lot of schools told me I would play different positions. They told me that I was going to be an inside receiver, but then after watching my film again they told me I would play outside too. I really wanted to move around because I know that I can handle those dynamics. I didn't want to be stuck at one position. I wanted to play in different places and be in an offense that could use me. Then when I went down there everything was perfect. I spent a lot of time with Coach Gundy and enjoyed my time.

Question: Justin Blackmon and Dez Bryant, the Oklahoma State receivers that have had the most success lately, both played inside and outside. They moved around in order to make defenses have to adjust and it created matchup problems.
Samples: Exactly, and that is what I noticed and I felt like I wanted to do that. I couldn't pass up that opportunity. The big part of it was having the opportunity to get on the field. I know it is hard to play as a freshman, maturing and learning the offense. I know that I'm a competitive guy and that I can get that done. They presented me with the opportunity and I will have a great chance to playing early.

Question: How much did the offense itself play into your decision?
Samples: The offense played a big part in it. When I got down to the nit and the grit of my decision, all of my schools had smilar offenses to Oklahoma State. I was down at Texas A&M and they are doing a similar offense there now. I was at Ohio State and they are doing a similar offense, they are back at a high-powered offense. Offense played a big part.

Question: Do you run a wide-open spread offense at Skyline?
Samples: We run a wide-open spread. We run a little handoff, sometimes we get into a little I, but most of the time with Devante Kincade (Mississippi commit) at quarterback we run a wide open spread.

Question: What is it like playing for your dad (Reginald Samples, who is head coach at Skyline High School)?
Samples: It's trouble man. I probably get into more trouble than anyone else. I really do. I get into more trouble than anyone else on the team. He is hard on me. He is on me all the time.

Question: The thing is you won't be alone at Oklahoma State. There are more than a few coach's sons on that team. It is almost like Coach Gundy and his staff look for coach's sons in recruiting.
Samples: I don't know about that, but being his son helps me go through things easier. I don't take some things as harsh as other kids. I take coaching a lot easier. I am not real sensitive about being griped at all the time because I get griped at all the time. I take coaching a lot easier.

Question: When dad has griped at you too much, do you go to mom?
Samples: Man I wish, I go to mom and she sends me back to dad.

Question: Your dad coached Richetti Jones at Lincoln High School in Dallas. Richetti had a serious injury his senior season at Lincoln, a fractured hip. He came to OSU and they gave him time to heal and he ends up making a real difference on the team. He also becomes a really good recruiter as a player off the field. Your dad also coached Byron Eaton, who came up and played basketball at OSU. Did those connections, especially the one with Richetti, help make your decision?
Samples: It had a big impact. Richetti always talked to me from the beginning and told me what kind of man that Coach Gundy was, and what kind of program that I would be playing in. He told me the kind of guys that would be around me. That really helped me make my mind up on Oklahoma State.

Question: There was a lot of talk that you kind of knew earlier about where you were going. There was talk you had told the schools so they could get on with their recruiting. There was an interview that popped up on ESPN after you committed with you talking about going to OSU and it looked like you had recorded that at Skyline. So, did you keep a secret?
Samples: It was a secret for a little bit. It was kind of hard to keep it. I didn't tell that many people and I played with some guys and some of friend's minds. Sometimes I would slip up and and then I would scramble and just act like I was playing with them. I am always around Marcell (Ateman, the commitment to Oklahoma State from Wylie East High School). He would always ask me about it and I would always tell him like, 'Bro, I'm not really considering Oklahoma State. I don't like them that much.'

Question: The reason we ask is that it is hard in this day and age to really keep a secret like that.
Samples: You would be surprised with the time frame that I've been keeping that secret.

Question: For the second year in a row you are coming off an offseason injury. How close are you to being what you would consider to be 100 percent?
Samples: I want to play in the Gridiron Game on July 28, so hopefully by then I will be there. That is kind of my time frame for it. The Gridiron Kings in Orlando, Florida, and it is Champion or Nike and it's on ESPN2. I am real close to being ready.

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