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Samuda Trying To Distance Himself From His English Roots

Posted May 21, 2012

There is a healthy contingent of Miami Dolphins fans located across the Atlantic Ocean in England, but now the Dolphins have an English-born player who became a fan after moving to South Florida.

Rookie guard Josh Samuda was born in Birmingham, England two days before Christmas back in 1988 but never played any sports as a youngster over there. His family relocated to Miami when he was in between third and fourth grade and he could look outside his front window and see his future calling.

“I used to live next to the stadium in elementary school and I used to always see it,” said Samuda, who played his high school football at Hollywood Hills before moving on to the University of Massachusetts. “The Dolphins were my team from a young age. I’m used to the heat down here and came back and started running out here after finishing up at UMass.”

Samuda showed his versatility in college on the offensive line playing both left and right guard for the Minutemen. At 6-foot-3 and 310 pounds he has a low center of gravity compared to other NFL guards. He is still considered a bit raw considering he didn’t set foot on a football field until his junior year in high school.

Throw in his background – or lack thereof – in sports from his younger days abroad and in South Florida and Samuda realizes he still has plenty to prove. He has been dealing with that challenge his entire life.

“I wasn’t able to play sports over there or over here because I was too big,” Samuda said. “I wanted to play Optimist football but everywhere I went and tried it they wouldn’t let me play. I was just hanging out and playing pickup games with my friends, so my goal is just to make this team and show what I can do in training camp.”

When Samuda was reminded of the Dolphins’ recent track record of giving undrafted free agents and late round picks solid opportunities to make the roster, he was encouraged. Current starting wide receiver Davone Bess and starting kicker Dan Carpenter both were undrafted rookie free agents back in 2008.

Miami’s three-day rookie mini-camp served as more of an orientation for all of the rookies invited to participate, but next week the OTAs begin, followed by a mandatory mini-camp in mid-June. Samuda plans to use those practices to show that he can be another find.

“I really believe a lot of undrafted free agents are a lot better than what they are perceived to be,” he said. “Me coming from UMass, a lot of guys come out undrafted and they always make the team and that just gives me confidence there. As for this organization, I feel like I can come here and play right away. I think my biggest strength is my speed and I can pull and sit on guys quick, but I just need to get stronger.”

All Samuda has to do is think back to how far he already has traveled from his adolescent years in England to now and he should find plenty of motivation to succeed.
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