Asante Samuel Jr. Opts Out of Remainder of FSU's Season to Prepare for NFL Draft

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 2020

Florida State defensive back Asante Samuel Jr. (26) during an NCAA football game on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)
Gary McCullough/Associated Press

Asante Samuel Jr. is following in his father's NFL footsteps.

The Florida State cornerback announced he is opting out for the rest of the 2020 season to prepare for the upcoming NFL draft.

"I have made the decision to enter the 2021 NFL Draft," he wrote. "I will forever bleed Garnet and Gold. Thank you, Florida State University, for everything!"

Samuel arrived at Florida State as a highly regarded 4-star recruit in the class of 2018, per 247Sports' composite rankings.

The 5'10", 184-pound Florida native was a secondary contributor as a freshman before tallying 49 tackles, 14 passes defended and one interception as a sophomore. The junior posted 30 tackles, six passes defended, three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble through eight games this year before opting out.

His play in the defensive backfield had been a rare bright spot for the Seminoles, who are an abysmal 2-6 on the year.  

Brendan Sonnone of 247Sports noted Samuel partially made this decision to "make sure a shoulder issue is fine for the pre-draft process."

Living up to his father's name in the NFL will be a daunting task. The elder Samuel played for the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons during a career that lasted from 2003 through 2013, and he was a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion.

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The 39-year-old finished his NFL career with 51 interceptions and led the league in picks two seasons.