Heralded EA running back makes commitment

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
East Ascension running back Walter Samuel was first-team all-district and first-team All-Parish in 2021.

Throughout the country, some of the best high-school football prospects have been making their commitments this summer, and that trend has continued in Ascension Parish.

Less than two weeks ago, Dutchtown offensive lineman Ethan Fields committed to Purdue. Now, heralded East Ascension senior running back Walter Samuel has made his commitment.

Samuel plans to continue his college football career at Tulane.

The explosive tailback has been a popular target for college coaches’ attention here in Ascension Parish over the past year. 

The senior has piled up scholarship offers from programs that have included: Louisiana Tech, Alcorn State, Incarnate Word, Nicholls, Northwestern State, Tulane, UL-Monroe and South Alabama.

His Tulane offer came back in May. Two months later, he has decided to pledge his allegiance to the Green Wave.

Samuel has all the physical tools to be a successful running back at the college level. He’s 6-0 and 200 pounds. He’s been clocked in at a 4.38 40-yard dash.

And he’s put those attributes to use on the field over the past two seasons. In doing so, he was named first-team All-District 5-5A.

Samuel had a big junior campaign in 2021. He rushed for 803 yards and eight touchdowns during the regular season. In addition to all-district, Samuel was also named first-team All-Parish.

Samuel had some of his biggest games against East Ascension’s biggest rivals.

Against Dutchtown, he rushed for 171 yards and four touchdowns. Against St. Amant, he piled up 83 yards rushing and 46 yards receiving.

In a come-from-behind victory over Woodlawn, Samuel rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown, and he added 111 yards receiving with another score. For his efforts, he was named WAFB’s Sportsline Player of the Week.

Samuel helped the Spartans go 5-3 during the regular season.

East Ascension just missed out on hosting a first-round playoff game. The Spartans made the field as the No. 17 seed and faced 16th-seeded Southside in round one.

East Ascension pulled off the upset. It was sixth straight season in which the Spartans won a first-round game.

In round two, East Ascension lost a 24-21 road contest against top-ranked and eventual undefeated Class 5A champion Zachary.

Samuel looks to be the clear-cut top running back in Ascension Parish heading into the 2022 season.

East Ascension head coach Darnell Lee lauded his effort during the Spartans’ spring practice. Samuel was one of the top players that Lee said stood out during the two weeks.

With East Ascension losing starting quarterback Troy Dunn, Lee went on to say that the Spartans’ offense will be built around their running backs, especially Samuel.

East Ascension will face parish and district foe Dutchtown in its jamboree on Aug. 26, and the Spartans will open the season on the road against defending champion Zachary on Sept. 2.