Academics were huge for Samuels

Kayton Samuels committed to Syracuse on national signing day. spoke to the two-star defensive tackle to break down his decision.

Lithonia (Ga.) Arabia Mountain defensive tackle Kayton Samuels was a late addition to Syracuse's radar. He turned that into a commitment and signed his letter of intent on Wednesday.

"Syracuse is just a great school," Samuels said. "Academically and football-wise. They plan in the ACC, one of the best conferences to play in. They have a family feel up there and the program just has a great atmosphere.

"When I was on my visit, right after the academic part, that was it. I knew that was for me. The academic part was just well beyond any other school. I originally hard from Indiana, App State and Maryland over that week so I had other options. The academics at Syracuse beat all of them."

Signing and faxing in the letter was a great feeling for both Samuels and his family, especially when it lessens the financial burden of a college education.

"It feels real good," Samuels said. "It's been a long journey coming. It's good to be at a top-notch school like Syracuse that costs $60,000 a year. It's gratifying and just a great feeling. That's stress off my back and my family's back.

"Now I know I'm going to college so it's time to become the player I know I can and the man I know I can be."

With his commitment and national signing day behind him, Samuels can focus on getting ready for his career at Syracuse.

"It's going to be real good," Samuels said. "I know we're going to compete and I know we're going to win an ACC championship. If I play as a freshman, I want to make the all-freshmen team in the ACC. In my first year, I want to have over a 3.0 GPA.

"I'm just looking forward to just getting at it. It'll be a whole different level for me. I know I can do a lot this spring to improve so that when I get there I'm not too far behind. Just looking forward to it."

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