Ra'Shaad Samples | Arizona State University

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Team: Arizona State University
Organization: NCAA Football
Position: Passing Game Coor./WR
Hometown: Dallas, Texas


Sun Devil Football head coach Kenny Dillingham has added one the fastest-rising coach stars at any level to his staff, welcoming the NFL's youngest position coach Ra'Shaad Samples as ASU's wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator.
Samples was the running backs coach for the Los Angeles Rams this season as the NFL's youngest position coach at just 27 years old. Prior to this season with the Rams, Samples spent three seasons at SMU where he rose from an offensive assistant in 2019 to the assistant head coach and running backs coach by 2021. 
"Ra'Shaad Samples has seen a meteoric rise through the coaching ranks and for good reason," Dillingham says. "You don't go from an offensive assistant in college to a position coach in the NFL in just four years without being dedicated to your craft and a work ethic that impresses everyone around you. Coach Samples will be a dynamic addition to this staff in numerous ways."

At SMU, Samples developed a reputation as one of the nation's elite recruiters.
The Mustangs' 2021 recruiting class was the highest-ranked in program history and features the highest signee for SMU. It boasted the highest average recruiting rating in the American Athletic Conference and was better than 16 Power 5 programs.
Samples finished as the No. 1 recruiter in the conference (247Sports), after the December Signing Day period, landing him as a top-30 recruiter in the country among the Power 5 and Group of 5. Among Group of 5 schools, Samples was the nation's top recruiter.
During the 2020 season, Samples was listed among 247Sports' 30-Under-30 list and was on Dave Campbell's 40-Under-40 list in 2021.
As running backs coach, Samples helped Ulysses Bentley IV to FWAA Freshman All-America honors (the first Mustang in history) and AAC Rookie of the Year honors in 2020. The redshirt freshman was also a member of the Doak Walker and CFPA Award Watch Lists.
Bentley IV led the league with 913 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns in 10 games. His 11 rushing TDs set the SMU freshman single-season record and his 913 rushing yards in the regular season were over 200 more than any other player in the conference. His rushing TD and total TD totals ranked 17th nationally, while his rushing yards were 18th, and his 12 total TDs made him one of only two freshmen nationally with 10+ total TDs.
In his first season on the Hilltop, Samples helped mentor FWAA Second-Team All-American and First-Team All-AAC selection James Proche, who led the nation with 111 receptions. Proche's 8.5 receptions per game ranked second nationally, while his 15 receiving TDs were fourth. Both his receiving yards (1,225) and receiving yards per game (94.2) ranked in the top 20.
The senior was also a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff and Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Awards, and was a member of the Maxwell and Paul Hornung Award Watch Lists.
In the run game, Doak Walker semifinalist and all-conference selection Xavier Jones topped FBS statistical honors for points per game (11.5) and rushing touchdowns (23).  Jones was also second nationally in total TDs with 25 and third nationally in total points scored with 150. His rushing yards (1,276) and rushing yards per game (98.2) were also in the FBS top 25. Jones' season points, rushing TDs and total TDs were all SMU records.
Proche was selected in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens, while Jones and tight end Ryan Becker went on to sign undrafted free agent deals.
Prior to arriving on the Hilltop, Samples worked at the University of Texas since February 2018. While with the Longhorns, Samples was an on-campus recruiter and an assistant wide receivers coach. He was vital in the development of receivers Devin Duvernay and Lil' Jordan Humphrey. Samples also played an important role in the Longhorns' recruiting success.
Prior to his stint at Texas, Samples spent two years as an offensive assistant at the University of Houston in 2016 and 2017 working with the running backs and receivers (2016) under Darrell Wyatt and working with the quarterbacks (2017) under Brian Johnson. He played a role in the mentorship of Kyle Allen, D'Eriq King and Marquez Stevenson.
Samples played in six games at Oklahoma State in 2014 as a redshirt freshman, registering three catches for 11 yards. In 2015, he transferred to Houston, and sat out the 2015 season due to transfer obligations and the 2016 season due to injury.
He caught 62 passes for 1,072 yards and 23 touchdowns as a senior under his father Reginald Samples at Skyline High School. As a junior, Samples hauled in 19 touchdowns off 65 catches for 1,369 yards. A four-star prospect by ESPN, Rivals and Scout, Samples was a two-time first-team all-area selection by the Dallas Morning News and was the No. 19 ranked receiver nationally by ESPN. He was also a second-team AP All-State selection and was ranked as the No. 20 overall player in the state of Texas in 2013.

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