Chris Samuels first started playing football when he was four years old when he got to play on his older brothers youth football team. He loved throwing, catching and running with the ball, but his first love was knocking down opponents who got in his way. No wonder he was so good once he started playing for real.
The Outland Trophy winner for the 1999 SEC Champion Crimson Tide, Samuels was another in a long line of great Alabama linemen. Samuels was a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award and was a First-Team All-American selection.
He was named first-Team All-SEC by coaches, Associated Press, the Birmingham News and the Mobile Press Register. Samuels won the Jacobs Award as the SEC's most outstanding blocker, and started 42 straight games without yielding a sack.
One of the many highlights during Samuels' career was the 1999 upset victory over Florida in The Swamp. The game went back and forth as neither team could gain an advantage. As with any game, the outcome came down to a handful of plays as the titanic struggle spilled into overtime. Florida got into the end zone, but incredibly missed the extra point. With only a six point deficit to overcome, a Bama touchdown and extra point would win the game. It was here the mammoth offensive lineman from Mobile opened a hole in the Florida defensive line which sprung Shaun Alexander into the open field and into the end zone.
As with everything else that day, the crowd was treated to another incredible series of events as the Tide missed their extra point as well. However, a flag on the play gave Alabama a reprieve. With a second chance, they converted to win the game 40-39. The victory was the catalyst for a rematch with the Gators in the 1999 SEC Championship game, where this time the game was not as exciting as Alabama crushed the Gators 34-7 to win the championship.
U.S. Navy Adm. Timothy J. Keating, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, shakes hands with Chris Samuels, during the NFL Pro Bowl game at the Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, Feb. 10, 2008. Thanks to wikipedia.org for the picture.
Samuels was drafted third overall by the Washington Redskins, in the 2000 NFL draft. After a serious neck injury in a 2009 game, Samuels retired from the NFL in March of 2010.
Samuels was not only a star player on the field, but also a star player for his community. The Chris Samuels Foundation is an organization dedicated to community stabilization through home ownership education, economic development and youth initiatives. He has received support from Democratic presidential forerunners Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for his efforts and has once awarded a new home to a family who withstood the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Check out our current page about Alabama Crimson Tide Football. We have named Chris Samuels to our SEC All-Time All-Star Football Team. You can also read more about the Alabama Crimson Tide Football History.
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