Austin Peay has had to overcome a tremendous amount of change since the end of the 2019 season after the Governors won the 2019 OVC Championship. Since then, Austin Peay has moved to the A-SUN conference and hired the youngest head coach in college football Scotty Walden.
The Governors are looking to make an immediate splash in the A-SUN in 2022, but the offense has multiple spots that have to be reloaded after the 2021 season. QB Draylen Ellis, RB Ahmaad Tanner, RB Brian Snead, WR Baniko Harley, & WR Eugene Minter are just some of the top contributors that are no longer with the Austin Peay program.
Austin Peay landed an immediate impact player at the running back position when former Jacksonville State RB Joshua Samuel announced his commitment last week.
— Joshua Samuel (@ThaChosenOne__) May 22, 2022
Samuel was a 3-star prospect out of Lawrenceville, GA where he was selected to play in the Gwinnett All-Star Game. In 2016, Samuel rushed for over 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns while averaging almost six yards per carry for the season.
Samuel committed to Western Kentucky out of high school over Georgia Southern and Minnesota. After redshirting in 2017, Samuel rushed for over 600 yards in his redshirt freshman campaign, which still ranks Top-5 in Western Kentucky history for a freshman player.
After transferring to Jacksonville State in the fall of 2020, Samuel started seven games between the fall and spring seasons. He contributed over 700 yards rushing and 8 touchdowns, while being named 2nd Team All-OVC for the Gamecocks. Last season for the Gamecocks, Samuel rushed for over 700 yards and 6 touchdowns.
The Governors were extremely thin at the RB spot after losing both Ahmaad Tanner & Brian Snead this offseason. The pair combined for over 1,200 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns last season for Austin Peay. Samuel brings immediate experience to the young RB room and will be an immediate contributor for the Governors entering the 2022 season.
Samuel will have the rare chance to put on a show in front of both his former teams this season at Austin Peay. The Governors open the season against Western Kentucky and host Jacksonville State on October 29th.