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Storm sign Samuels

March 19, 2002 - Arena Football League (AFL) - Tampa Bay Storm News Release

TAMPA, FL - Lawrence Samuels, one of the top two-way players in Tampa Bay Storm history, has returned to the team after a season with the New Jersey Gladiators, head coach Tim Marcum announced Tuesday.

Samuels, a standout wide receiver/linebacker, will be entering his eighth season with the Storm and ninth in the Arena Football League.

Samuels ranks third in Storm history in career receptions (247), receiving yards (3,120), and receiving touchdowns (47), and is fourth all-time in all-purpose yards (3,295) and touchdowns scored (58). Defensively, Samuels ranks first in Storm history in career forced fumbles (9) and fumble recoveries (15), second in tackles (268), third in interceptions (13), and ninth in pass breakups (21).

"Having Lawrence Samuels back with us is a huge asset for our team," Marcum said. "Not only is he one of the top two-way players to ever play for the Storm, but he is also a veteran who commands respect. As much as he will bring to our team on the field, his presence as a true leader may be his greatest contribution."

Samuels, who was voted to the Tampa Bay Storm All-Decade Team in 2000, appears to be getting better with age, as he is coming off of his two best seasons as a pro. Last season with New Jersey, Samuels led the squad in receiving, catching a career-high 65 passes for 742 yards and nine touchdowns. He also finished fourth on the team in all-purpose yards and scoring. Defensively Samuels tallied 42 tackles, fourth-best on the team, with two pass breakups, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, and a QB hurry.

Prior to leaving the Storm after the 2000 season Samuels set career highs in receptions (later topped in 2001), receiving yards (844), and touchdowns (19). He also had a career year on the defensive side of the ball, totaling career highs in tackles (51) and interceptions (3). Samuels scored 120 points on the season.

"Lawrence Samuels developed as a professional football player in the Storm organization and we're glad to see him return," Marcum said. "We have a tremendous amount of newcomers this season and hopefully Lawrence will be able to teach our new players what it takes to be a winner in this league."

Samuels owns a pair of ArenaBowl rings from his early years with the Storm, as he was a part of the Storm's back-to-back championships in 1995 and 1996.

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