Fort Lauderdale, FL– St.Thomas Aquinas has two purebred defensive backs that don’t just play like their dads, they’re even named after them. Most teams would be lucky to have one child of an NFL player on their roster, but the Raiders have two and Asante Samuel Jr. and Al Blades Jr. are both prime examples of what playmaking pedigree looks like.
Pictured below: Asante Samuel Jr. (left) Al Blades Jr. (right)
Between 1984 – 2000, Al’s dad and his two uncles (Brian Blades and Bennie Blades) played for Miami and collectively earned such accolades as being named All-Big East, All-American and Bennie was even inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame – and those are just the Blades that played for The U.
Al’s cousin, H.B. Blades opted to play linebacker for Pitt where he carried on the family tradition by being named All-Big East, All-American as well as being named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year in 2006. And to top it all off, they all went on to play in the NFL.
Needless to say, Al Blades Jr. is inherently great at football and if he keeps playing the way he has been these last few years he’ll be well on his way to following in his family’s footsteps all the way to the professional level.
As it stands now, Al Jr. expects to be lining up in the defensive backfield on Saturdays like his dad and uncle Bennie did who both played safety for the Canes, except the next-gen star will be playing cornerback and has yet to announce which school he’ll be suiting up for.
Asante Samuel Jr might not have as many family members that have played in the NFL as Al, but his dad has accomplished so much in his NFL career it’s easier to list his achievements rather than attempt to put them into a sentence.
2x Super Bowl champion (XXXVIII, XXXIX)
4x Pro Bowl (2007–2010)
First-Team All-Pro (2007)
Second-Team All-Pro (2009)
2× NFL Interceptions Leader (2006, 2009)
NFC Interception Leader (2010)
Asante Jr. seems to have a lot in common with his dad. For starters, they both play cornerback and have a knack for locking down half the field and intercepting the ball whenever it comes their way.
With that being said, Asante Jr. might even be better than his father was at this point in his career because his versatility can be seen in the way he hits like a linebacker and has the ability to run faster than anyone else on the field. Asante’s playmaking is so apparent that his upcoming opponents are probably better off not watching film of him in action, as it’s more likely to leave them intimidated than prepared.
Regardless of how opponents get ready to play St. Thomas Aquinas, they probably going to lose – by a lot. The Raiders have won 7 Florida state titles in the last 10 years including 3 straight titles over the last 3 seasons and the final score of their most recent state title game was 45-6.
Despite having their father’s names, these two young bucks are already making a name for themselves and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. It’s just unfortunate for the high school quarterbacks in south Florida that these guys still have one more season left before taking their talents to the next level.