Anxious? Check. Patient? Well, Joe Sampson's got that box checked at least twice, since it's been a year since he's strapped on a football helmet. The 6-foot, 205-pound California native is eager to go from the Sunshine State to Utah so that the next phase of his life can get going.
"Oh man, I can't wait," Sampson said with excitement. "I've just been patient and anxious to get going. I've been waiting 21 years for my day to strap on my college pads, and now I finally get my chance to finally show what I can do at BYU. I can't wait to get out there and get going."
Before he can don the white and blue jersey of BYU, Sampson must first finish up two classes he’s currently taking.
Coach Howell, now coach of the BYU’s defensive backs, has been working to ensure that Sampson stays on course to join his future Cougar teammates. Howell has taken every opportunity allowed under the NCAA rules to follow up and encourage Sampson along the way.
"I think Coach Howell is a great person," Sampson said of his future position coach. "The day I met him I bonded with him. He always keeps in contact with me to make sure that I'm all good. He's always calling me when he can and making sure everything is alright with me and with my school. He makes sacrifices for me. He came out to my school just to talk to my teachers."
One person Sampson often speaks with and stays in constant contact with is his cousin, former BYU cornerback Brian Logan. The two spoke Tuesday, and being up at BYU with Logan for a semester is something Sampson is looking forward to. Logan’s last semem
"He really likes it up there and I don't know if he's going to try and be a GA up there or not right now."
Logan has expressed a few times that he would like to stay close to BYU's program in some capacity. He mentioned that he loves the sport of football and would like to be a GA at BYU at some point, but that opportunity will have to wait, as Logan is going to first try his hand at the NFL.
"He's been training up there and working hard to get ready for the next level," said Sampson. "He said he has a trainer now. I don't know his name, but he's just trying to get ready for the NFL."
Sampson also said he believes Logan has hired an agent in preparation for the NFL draft that will be held on April 28.
If for whatever reason Logan can't stick in the NFL, Sampson would like to see his cousin back in Provo.
"I do think if he can't get to the next level, it would be a good thing for him to come back. I wouldn't mind having him around while I'm there. That would be a good thing."
Much like Logan, Sampson is preparing himself for the next level as well.
"I might not strap up the helmet, but I strap up the cleats daily," Sampson said. "I have two trainers that I work with. I work with a weight trainer and a speed trainer, so I go out every day and work out. Sometimes I'll work out twice a day and sometimes once. It really depends on what day it is.
"I work on explosion a lot. My speed trainer helps me with speed. I always want to get faster, and so I work a lot on my speed. I also work a lot on my DB skills. You have to always keep up with that, so I work on those techniques a lot. We've got some games coming up, and so I've got to be ready. I'm going to be ready. I just need to get out there and I expect to just put my all into it. I've got two years left and so I'm going to make the most and best of my opportunities. That's one reason why I'm working so hard now before I even get there."
It's been a long and hard-fought journey for Sampson, but the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter. So as Sampson prepares himself over the spring to head out to Utah in May, he has a few things he would like to say to the Cougar nation.
"I want to tell them that I'm going to bring some excitement to the team," Sampson said. "I'm going to come out there and give it my all and give them a show. I can't wait to be out there at BYU and play for those fans. I can't wait to hear them cheer us on. I can't wait and I'm excited to get going."