When I think of Richard Samuel, two things come immediately to mind: 1) his tough runs against Florida (particularly in 2011) and 2) his big game against Arkansas (in 2009). Other than that, his career has been a blur and, quite frankly, unspectacular.
That said, Samuel hasn’t been happy in a Georgia uniform for a very long time either and, after the Capital One Bowl, he took to his Twitter account to say as much again:
I don’t have any idea who the “man” is, but I do remember Samuel doing an interview as recently as a few days ago which voiced a lot of displeasure over how far he’s fallen since arriving on campus as a 5* in 2008.
“I’m not happy at all on how things went,” Samuel said when asked to sum up what he takes from his UGA career. “But I can say from my career I learned how to handle when things don’t go your way, how to stay strong and stay positive and don’t let what other people think or other people say you can or can’t do keep you down.”
After the bowl game, Samuel plans to train for the NFL Draft. He is planning to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Jan. 19 in Los Angeles.
“I’ve only thought about running back on offense,” Samuel said, “because that’s what I’ve been predominantly throughout my college career, but I’m not opposed to doing another position as well. … But I’m ready. I’m ready to have the ball in my hand, be able to control my destiny, be able to exhibit what I can do with my talents and abilities.” (Gentry Estes, Dawgs247)
Here’s the thing, Samuel was moved around a lot after his first season at running back. He tried linebacker, running back, full back, and may have even discussed taking some reps as a tight end (not sure on that one, but it wouldn’t surprise me if true); but between injuries and what can only be assumed to be an inability to challenge any of the players above him on the depth chart, he never truly reached his playing potential at Georgia.
Is that all on the coaching staff? Perhaps, but I don’t think the staff intentionally tried to sabotage his career and make him irrelevant on either side of the ball. I think he had opportunities—how many, none of us can be sure—but never really did enough to rise above the talent he was playing behind and hence never found a successful position.
I wish him nothing but success in the future, but my heart breaks to know that he’s leaving on such a sour note.
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