The impact of UGA defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt on the Bulldogs’ defense has caught the attention of many prospective recruits, including Stanford Samuels, a 4-star cornerback from Florida.
“Coach Pruitt and I have a pretty good relationship,” Samuels told the AJC. “I would definitely say that’s one of the reasons why Georgia is so high.”
Samuels, one of the top prospects in 2017, has a short list of schools he’s considering — one that includes only Alabama, Florida State and UGA. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound corner says the latter two lead the charge, and that Pruitt has played a part in UGA’s positioning.
“He definitely knows what he’s doing,” Samuels said. “He knows techniques. He knows how to teach his guys, and he definitely knows how to win. He’s very down-to-earth when I talk to him. We talk about a lot of things.”
His father, Stanford Samuels, Jr., has kept close tabs on Pruitt’s rise, too. The elder Samuels is a former cornerback for Florida State from 2000-02. The father is impressed by the second-year defensive coordinator’s success in transitioning from the high school level to the college ranks.
“For me, Coach Pruitt, I love his mind,” the elder Samuels told the AJC. “One of the benefits of coming from the high school ranks is that you have to do the most with the least amount of pieces. You really can’t handpick your guys, so to speak, so you really have to be creative. To be a guy that’s dominated those ranks, to make it to college and then show that he could be dominate on the college level — his first true stop as a defensive coordinator — it goes to show you what he’s capable of.”
The younger Samuels, who was in attendance for UGA’s “Dawg Night” prospect camp in July, says he feels comfortable whenever he visits Athens. In addition, the Bulldogs have continued to recruit him aggressively since they first offered him in 2014.
“Georgia has always been at the top of my list because they were one of the big schools to actually offer me,” Samuels said. “I love that. They showed me love first and they continue to show love as the process continues.”
It should be noted that Samuels will have plenty of time to consider all of his options as a decision will likely come during his senior year. According to 247Sports.com’s Crystal Ball predictions, Samuels is projected to commit to FSU (100 percent), but the Hollywood native says he won’t let his legacy status influence his decision.
“I try not to let that play a role in my recruitment,” Samuels said. “I want to make sure the reason why I go to a school is based on my reasons that I believe will be good for me and not too much what my Dad did there or what he’s done in his career.”
Samuels will attend two UGA games this season, including the Bulldogs’ contest versus Alabama on Oct. 3.