WINTER GARDEN West Orange senior linebacker Jeremy Samuels has been recognized for his outstanding productivity on the field to the tune of seven Division I scholarship offers.
For the combination of his on-field play along with his leadership and integrity off of it, though, Samuels was awarded the Central Florida Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ Football Player of the Year at the organization’s annual bowl breakfast Dec. 29. The breakfast was among the festivities that led up to the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl.
The Central Florida branch of Fellowship of Christian Athletes covers nine counties and 300 public and private schools. Student-athletes were awarded the leadership awards for all of the fall sports. West Orange head coach Bob Head, who attended the breakfast, said Samuels was a more-than-deserving recipient.
“He’s a leader on-and-off the field; when no one is around is when he does his best work,” Head said. “He’s made me a better coach, and I don’t want to let him down. He’s really an inspiration to everybody.”
“He’s made me a better coach, and I don’t want to let him down. He’s really an inspiration to everybody.”
— Bob Head, West Orange football coach
Samuels, who attends Hope Church in Winter Garden, said he got to meet and hear testimonies from some of the players from the University of Michigan and the University of Florida who were preparing to play in the game Jan. 1 at the breakfast. The senior linebacker said his faith seeps into all facets of his life.
“I feel like faith is the biggest thing you can apply to your life,” Samuels said. “It’s the first thing I think about when I make every decision.”
Samuels was an important part of the Warriors’ defense this past fall and has scholarship offers from schools such as The Citadel, Army, Eastern Kentucky and Indiana State. Although both his productivity and his leadership will be missed by the program, Head said he is excited to see what is next for Samuels.
“I’ve really never coached anybody quite like him,” Head said. “So I know he’s going to be really successful in the future, I really do.”
Samuels deferred credit for his recognition and placed the focus on his faith.
“Accolades are nice, but I’m nothing without my savior, Jesus Christ,” Samuels said. “It’s kind of a blessing for Him to reward me for all the work I put in but, at the end of the day, I don’t do it for the awards — I do it to honor Him and the people that raised me.”
For more information on the Central Florida FCA, visit centralfloridafca.org.
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].