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Looks like I'm headed to the Redskins

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Posted: Thursday April 13, 2000 11:52 PM

 

Former Alabama offensive tackle Chris Samuels is expected to be the first offensive lineman taken in the 2000 NFL Draft on April 15. Samuels won the Outland Trophy in 1999 as the best interior lineman, and before the season he was named one of the "10 Players the NFL Wants Now" by Sports Illustrated. He was named All-American last season by CNNSI.com after his senior year with the Crimson Tide. He will be checking in again on Saturday after he is selected in the draft, so stop back then for an exclusive Draft Day Diary from Chris at CNNSI.com.

I was up in Washington to visit the Redskins on Tuesday, and everything went well. They treated me real nice. It looks like that's where I'm going to wind up playing.

Everything is first class. The fields are nice, the complex where the players train is nice, and the coaches are nice. Everything seems top notch.

I met the whole coaching staff -- both the defensive staff and the offensive staff -- but I spent the most time with Russ Grimm, the offensive line coach. We went out to dinner that night, so I spent a lot of time talking with him.

I think he's a good coach, and I think I could easily play for a coach like that. We hit it off right off the bat. Plus he knows a lot of stuff that he can teach me, so I think it will be a plus on my part to be coached by a guy like that. I don't remember him individually from when he was playing, but I remember the name "The Hogs" and I remember watching them. They were a good bunch.

I really just didn't have any long one-on-one conversations with any one of the other coaches, but Vinny Cerrato took me around to tour the facility. They were just telling me that they really want me, and that they think they might get me.

I went in and talked with Daniel Snyder real briefly in his office. I think he's a nice guy. We hit it off right off the bat in Tuscaloosa a few weeks ago when he was down for my private workout, and when I went in to see him this week we chatted for about 10 minutes.

He is really committed to winning. He's spending the big bucks for some big-time players. That shows me a lot right there. He's not holding back anything, because he wants to win. That's the type of organization that I need to play for.

They really haven't mentioned whether they would take me second or third. I would prefer to be the second pick, but if I happen to go as the third pick, I really won't be too upset. If I had my preference, one of the two Penn State guys would be the other pick.

I don't see any reason why Washington wouldn't take me at this point. Everything is healthy on me, and I think I'm a good player, so I don't see any reason why they wouldn't take me.

I liked the city a lot when I went there on the visit. Everything looks good. I think I could adapt to a place like that easily.

The places that I went to really weren't the party places -- I was out in the suburbs. I really didn't get to do much at all. I went and ate dinner that night with coach Grimm, and stayed at a nice hotel. Just the way everything looks, I think I could live there and enjoy myself.

I'm heading up to New York for the draft on Thursday, so this week I'm pretty much going to work out and then take it easy.

I'm not getting nervous, but I'm sure anxious. I can't wait, just to be drafted high like that. It's something I've been working at all my life, and I've always pictured myself in the NFL. At times, when I was young I used to walk through the mall and tell my mother that we were rich and stuff like that. She would always say, "No we ain't baby. We ain't rich." And I would be like, "Well, we're going to pretend we're rich." And now actually we are about to be rich, so I'm sure going to take care of her and everything.

I grew up on the West side of Mobile in a fairly middle class neighborhood. I grew up in a pretty decent neighborhood -- we had our problems, but it wasn't like there were a lot of things going on. I could've easily gone astray if I wanted to, but my neighborhood was pretty much family-oriented. Things have gotten kind of bad now, but it was really pretty decent when I grew up, so I had a pretty good chance. My parents sacrificed a lot and gave me a great opportunity to make something out of myself.

I will probably get on a plane to head to Washington about 30 to 40 minutes after I get selected. I really don't know any kind of schedule, but I'd probably just meet with the media.

I expect to move there as soon as possible after the draft. I haven't started looking for a place yet. I wouldn't look for anything yet, since I don't officially know where I'm going yet. If they select me then I'll get up there immediately and start looking for somewhere to stay.

If I can get in there, and hopefully win a ring my first year -- that would be awesome.


 
Related information
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CNNSI.com Draft Diary: Fred Robbins
CNNSI.com Draft Diary: UCLA's Danny Farmer
CNNSI.com Draft Diary: Kentucky's James Whalen
CNNSI.com Draft Diary: Colorado's Ben Kelly
CNNSI.com Draft Diary: Previous diary from Alabama's Chris Samuels
CNNSI.com Draft Diary: Virginia Tech's Corey Moore
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