Every dad wants his kid to look up to him. To follow in the footsteps that he left for his son and for him to create his own path exceeding what he did. Nothing makes you more proud than to see them emulate your positive characteristics.
I get to see it with my son daily as he mimics the athletes that come in and out of my gym, Boost Sports Performance in Jacksonville, or when I watch clients. Lately, he’s become infatuated with FSU, wanting to go to practice and show what he has against the mutants and bad assess that he sees as sort of super heroes on the gridiron.
This process isn’t foreign to me.
Sixteen years ago my teammate Stanford Samuels II used to bring his son to practice. Boosie, as we called him, had a boy who would do the warm ups at 3-years-old better than a lot of us. Kid was pretty athletic.
Fast forward to current day and Lil’ Boosie, Stanford Samuels III, is a starter and one of the budding stars on the revamped FSU defense.
Let me tell you something, Big Boosie was that dude. He had that swagger and a chip on his shoulder as big as a Boulder. He wasn’t the biggest, but he played the position aggressively.
I still get a chill when I describe his hit against Miami’s Roscoe Parrish in the 2003 game. It was a pouring down rain and we were all drenched, but he legit knocked Parrish dry. All the water on his jersey evaporated.
Lil Boosie – not the rapper – plays the position similar to his father with the benefit of being taller, heavier and with the knowledge that comes with being mentored by his father and another Doak Boy legend, Devon Bush. Samuels III got all the tools as well as work ethic that was possessed by the elder Samuels.
The highly-touted corner has been pretty damn exceptional this spring. First thing you notice is his size.
“Yeah, he’s gained about 20-plus pounds,” Samuels II said of his son. “He’s finally coming into his size. The boy thinks he’s 210 lbs. that’s how he’s played his whole life!”
The crazy thing is he hasn’t lost a step. He gained all that size and retained the athleticism and explosiveness. Normally you can lose with weight gain although he seems to move even more effortlessly.
The practices I’ve seen and the reports from scrimmage show him being able to run step-for-step with wide receivers and being a problem for them playing bump-and-run. He looks like he’s almost dislocating shoulders out there when he “jams” receivers at the line of scrimmage.
Where I see him excelling is in his ability to try to create turnovers. At 6-foot-2 and with his athletic ability, he’s been able to go up and “high point” passes – catch them at their highest point against receivers in coverage – as well as make plays in coverage running with WRs.
I’ve also noticed that he’s not just trying to make the big hit, he’s trying to strip the ball.
With this skill set he may draw more comparisons to Jalen Ramsey as opposed to his father. He’s even taken reps at the Zeus, or safety position, in the defense. You’ve got to be like a Greek god to play that position.
He’s got versatility. He’s got upside. He’s in a good defense to showcase it. This spring he’s been able to take a huge leap forward – that’s what these practices are for.
Fans can’t help be excited as he Levonta Taylor, Cyrus Fagan, Hamsah Nasirildeen and Jaiden Woodbey lead a young and talented secondary. All have potential, but Stanford has definitely stood out.
It’s tough not seeing the young kid doing the drills as his dad watched to make sure he didn’t get run over as he competed doing his job. Fast forward and talking to Stanford Samuels II you can’t help but see the same thing.
Article Originally Appeared on Gridiron Now: http://gridironnow.com/like-father-like-son-stanford-samuels-becoming-a-force-in-fsu-secondary