Dec. 6—TRUMBULL — Windsor High wide receiver/defensive end Prince Samuels was sitting in his first class of the day on Nov. 29 when the phone rang.
Samuels' teacher answered the phone and told the senior to report to the main office.
"Any kid that gets called to the main office, you get a little scared," Samuels said after his team's 35-31 victory over top-seeded and reigning champion St. Joseph Sunday in the Class L semifinals at Dalling Field.
Samuels walked into the office and was greeted by newly hired UConn football coach Jim Mora, who had requested a meeting with him.
At the end of the meeting, Mora presented Samuels with a life-changing offer. A scholarship to join the Huskies recruiting class of 2022.
Mora, the former coach of UCLA, the Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons, was announced as the new Huskies coach on Nov. 11. He served as an assistant coach through the remainder of the 2021 season before taking over the program the day prior to his meeting with Samuels.
"It was great to meet him," Samuels said. "It's a really good feeling to have an offer. It's my first offer."
Samuels has been a two-way force for the Warriors this season.
Entering Sunday, the senior led the Warriors in tackles (70), tackles for loss (21), and sacks (14) while also catching eight passes for 178 yard a pair of touchdowns.
Samuels caught a pair of third quarter touchdown passes and had a big sack of St. Joseph quarterback Matt Morrissey to end the quarter as the Warriors outscored St. Joseph 22-0 in the second half to climb out of an 18-point halftime deficit and punch their ticket to the state title game.
"(Samuels) is a hell of a player," Windsor quarterback Elijah Cromartie said. "Whenever we need him, he comes to the rescue. Those two fade balls were big. He used that big frame and just went up and caught them."
Samuels has not set a date for his official visit to UConn but is planning to make the trip to Storrs after the state championship game.
"The meeting with coach Mora opened my eyes to how much potential I have and just motivates me to keep working harder and to be great," Samuels said.
Windsor had two former players — Tyler Coyle, who began his career at UConn before transferring to Purdue, and Jason Pinnock, who played at Pittsburgh — selected in the 2021 NFL draft.
Windsor alumns Terrance Knighton, Chris Baker and Damik Scafe also reached the professional ranks.
"We've always had a good relationship with UConn, whatever coach was there," Windsor coach Rob Fleeting said after his team's quarterfinal victory over Cheney Tech Nov. 30. "I'm a home town guy. I always hope our kids stay home and play. You always want the best for Connecticut."
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