Derwin James pushed for Chargers to draft Asante Samuel, Jr.

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Gavino Borquez
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Cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. was selected by the Chargers in the second round, and while he may have been atop of their board already, a player already on the roster might have solidified their decision.

During the phone call between general manager Tom Telesco and Samuel Jr., Telesco revealed that safety Derwin James had been pushing for the team to select him prior to the draft.

“Derwin James has been lobbying for you for weeks,” Telesco told Samuel Jr.

“Yeah I know, that’s my guy,” Samuel Jr. responded. “That’s my guy right there.”

James’ response after the pick was announced says it all.

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The two never played together since James’ last season was in 2017 and Samuel Jr.’s first season came in 2018. But despite that, the Florida State ties run deep.

James always made sure to return to his alma mater while Samuel Jr. was there for the three seasons, and he was key to the defensive back’s growth.

“The only person that really came back throughout the three years was Derwin James,” Samuel Jr. said at the time. “I feel like Derwin James, he explained to me how things worked and things of that nature.”

Now, reunited, James and Samuel Jr. will be integral pieces to a defense that’s looking to dethrone the Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs.