Florida State cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. has all the talent needed to be a playmaker at the next level. While it’s certainly worth mentioning that he’s the son of an All-Pro defensive back, we don’t want to take away from the fact that he’s an exceptional player in his own right.
Samuel was a first-team All-ACC selection this past season, as he had 31 total tackles, six pass breakups, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. It was an impressive showing from a cornerback who was already regarded as an elite prospect.
Though he’s considered undersized at 5-foot-10, Samuel has proven time and time again that he can excels against different types of receivers while in man coverage. He’s hoping that trait will carry over to the NFL.
We caught up with Asante Samuel Jr. to discuss his path to the NFL Draft, the future of Florida State, his goals at the next level, and much more.
The Spun: What was the driving force behind you coming back for the 2020 season?
Asante Samuel Jr: I just wanted to show the country that I’m the best cornerback in the nation and help my team get better. We weren’t the best team these past few years, so I wanted to help Florida State get back to where it needs to be.
🔒⬇️@godschild3_ NCAA rank:
1st in Interceptions (3)
1st in Passes Defended (8)
2nd in Fumble Recoveries (2)
His 32 career passes defended rank 1st in the ACC and 3rd nationally among active players. pic.twitter.com/mbKE9JCrwQ
— FSU Football (@FSUFootball) October 22, 2020
The Spun: So it’s safe to say you believe you’re the best cornerback in this draft class?
AS: Oh for sure.
The Spun: What do you want to show NFL scouts in the coming weeks?
AS: I want to show them that height doesn’t matter. I can locate the ball wherever it’s at – I can high point the ball. Basically, I want to show that I have great ball skills.
The Spun: Does your mindset change against a bigger receiver?
AS: When I face a bigger receiver I always have a bigger chip on my shoulder because I always hear people say I’m too short, too small, too weak to handle a bigger receiver. So when I go against them I want to show that I’m an elite cornerback and I can handle a big receiver or a shifty receiver.
Asante Samuel Jr. allowed a 46.2 passer rating in coverage last season.
Lowest in the 2021 Draft class. pic.twitter.com/ehPVwhEeZw
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 16, 2021
The Spun: What advice have you received from your dad along the way?
AS: He just tells me to make plays on the ball and be a playmaker. I’ve been playing football all my life and this is what I do, this is me. He’s just telling me to be myself and do what I do.
The Spun: Is there a quarterback you can’t wait to go up against?
AS: There’s a lot of great quarterbacks in the NFL – Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers. Whichever quarterback I play first is the one I want to make a statement with.
The Spun: Which NFL teams have you met with?
AS: I’ve been doing a lot of Zoom meetings with teams. I’ve met with the Seahawks, Raiders, Packers, Falcons. I also have a meeting scheduled with the Saints on March 3. They’ve been going well and I feel like I’ve connected with all them. It’s a blessing to have an opportunity to speak with them.
I’m told the Saints have a virtual meeting scheduled next week with Florida State CB Asante Samuel Jr.
One of the most talented cornerbacks in this class. Had 30 tackles, 3 INTs and 2 fumble recoveries in just eight games this past season.
— Chris Rosvoglou (@RosvoglouReport) February 26, 2021
The Spun: Going back to Florida State for a second. Do you think Mike Norvell is the guy to take the program back to the promised land?
AS: Oh for sure. He’s an awesome guy, great recruiter, and very big on accountability and discipline. I feel like that’s what we need at Florida State.
The Spun: Is there a favorite moment from your Florida State career?
AS: The UNC game. I feel like that’s the game that is going to bring Florida State back to where it needs to be because North Carolina has a great quarterback and receivers, and we did a good job. I feel like Florida State is going to be back on top very soon.
Asante Samuel Jr. making plays just like his father 😤 pic.twitter.com/Ls92HMLq2r
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) September 12, 2020
The Spun: Do you have any rookie goals in mind?
AS: My rookie goal is to win a Super Bowl. I just want to win. I don’t really care too much about personal stats. I just want to do what I can to win a Super Bowl because that’s what the game is about, winning championships.
The Spun: What’s the biggest reason for your success?
Asante Samuel: I feel like I’m a dog. I won’t take no for an answer. I always want to go out there and be the best cornerback in the country. You can teach a lot of things, but you can’t teach a person that.
The Spun: Which cornerback do you like to watch on film?
AS: For me, I like to watch Jaire Alexander because he was in the same predicament I’m in right now. He’s a 5-foot-10 corner, but he’s one of the best in the league now. You had the naysayers say he’s too short and too small, but you can see right now he’s one of the best in the NFL.
The Spun: What is an NFL team getting in Asante Samuel Jr.?
AS: A hard-working, passionate football player that just wants to win…and I’m a true competitor.
— ASANTE SAMUEL Ⓜ️ (@godschild3_) January 3, 2021
Samuel is one of the most talented cornerbacks in this year’s draft class, so Florida State fans should expect to hear his name called on either Day 1 or 2.
The transition period from college to the pros is usually tough for cornerbacks, but Samuel could end up being an impact player from the moment he steps on an NFL field.
You can read more of our interviews with athletes or media stars here.
The post Q&A With Asante Samuel Jr: Florida State Career, NFL Goals, Why He’s The Top CB In His Class appeared first on The Spun.