After an offseason full of pain and uncertainty, Ra'Shaad Samples removed all doubt about his lingering ankle injury with an explosive performance to open his senior season.
Less than six months after fracturing his left fibula, the Dallas Skyline High wideout, who has committed to Oklahoma State, caught 11 passes for 169 yards and four touchdowns in an easy win.
And in the postgame interview with ESPN, Samples let people know about it.
“I'm healthy and I've been healthy,” Samples confidently proclaimed into the camera. “There's always been doubters. People always going to say they don't think I'm going to come back strong, people always going to say I'm never going to be the same. But I got a competitive nature and I'm always out to prove a point and that's what I wanted to do out here tonight.”
Even in that grainy online footage, his competitive hostility burst through. And we shouldn't have expected anything less.
Samples inherited that type of attitude at birth.
His father, Reginald Samples, is a legendary high school coach in Texas. He's led two Dallas powers, Lincoln and, most recently, Skyline, to more than 200 career wins.
And along the way, a young Ra'Shaad was right by his side, learning the game (and its fierce emotions) in a state that ranks high school football just below breathing as far as importance.
“He was always on the sideline, always at practices, always around football,” Reginald recalled. “He loved it.”
But regardless, Reginald refuses to take much credit for his son's rapid ascension in the game, even as the four-star wideout prepares to sign a college scholarship in the next week.