The Los Angeles Rams spent their post Super Bowl weeks replacing and adding to their coaching staff.
But the Super Bowl 56 winners don’t appear to be done filling their 2022 coaching tree under Sean McVay — and are now targeting a “top rising star” in the college football profession for a possible elevation.
Per senior national college football reporter Matt Zenith of On3sports.com on Tuesday, March 1, the Rams are expecting to interview Texas Christian University (TCU) running backs coach Ra’Shaad Samples for the open RB coaching position.
Samples’ Coaching Resume Includes Being a ‘Star Recruiter’
The 27-year-old Samples has been lauded for his backfield development and for being a “star recruiter” as ESPN’s Dave Wilson described him in a February 12, 2021 article while Samples was at Southern Methodist University.
Samples’ recruiting prowess, particularly in zeroing in on Dallas-Fort Worth talent in SMU’s backyard, led the Mustangs to the No. 1 recruiting ranking among non-Power 5 programs by ESPN. Samples himself was named the No. 1 AAC recruiter by 247Sports for the 2021 recruiting cycle.
Under Samples’ coaching, SMU produced American Athletic Conference (AAC) 2020 Rookie of the Year in running back Ulysses Bentley IV — who ran for 913 yards and scored 11 touchdowns in a truncated 10 game season. But here’s another area that helps Samples’ chances in heading to the “Rams House:” He’s already familiar with one member of the Rams’ backfield.
Xavier Jones once carried the rock with Samples as his position coach in 2019. And that season was Jones’ best at SMU: Posting career numbers in carries (244), rushing yards (1,276) and touchdowns (23).
Samples has built his college coaching resume in the Lonestar State. Prior to SMU, Samples helped coach wide receivers and served as on-campus recruiter for the University of Texas under then-head coach Tom Herman. Two future NFL receivers he helped coach in Austin were Devin Duvernay (Baltimore Ravens) and Lil’Jordan Humphrey (New Orleans Saints).
He also coached at the University of Houston under then-head coach Herman. The Cougars managed to get names like D’Eriq King and Ed Oliver as part of their “H-Town Takeover” recruiting methods, which helped land prized recruits into the Cougars’ program.
Should Samples be offered and accept the running backs coach position for the Rams, he’ll be leaving a job that’s already lined up for him: The assistant head coach and run game coordinator position at the Big 12 university TCU.
Reason Behind Open RB coach Position
Here’s why the Rams are looking to fill their open running back coach spot: Thomas Brown is lined up for a coaching promotion.
Brown was among the names mentioned in staying on board with the Rams on February 20 per the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Just four days earlier, Brown’s name was mentioned among the open offensive coordinator position for the Minnesota Vikings (who will be led by former Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell) and the head coaching position for the Miami Dolphins (before it went to Mike McDaniel, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers) per the NFL’s Network’s Tom Pelissero.
Brown is now expected to have more responsibility with the Rams’ offense alongside returning McVay assistant Liam Coen (the new offensive coordinator).