Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Samra reflects on first start at UConn

With the cardiac issue preventing starting right guard Gus Cruz from making the trip to Cincinnati for Saturday's game, one of the more promising offensive line prospects on the UConn roster got to make his first career start.

Sophomore Tyler Samra had his moments but he was also replaced a couple of times by senior Tyler Bullock, who is listed as the starter for Saturday's game against Central Florida. Still, Samra knows that the experience of going up against one of the best defenses in the American Athletic Conference can only be a helpful situation moving forward.

"Going into your first college start you are a little nervous, you have some nervous jitters but after the first play happened it was smooth sailing from there," Samra said. "I definitely learned (the) strength, speed (of the game) and the difference between that and practice. I got a bunch of pretty good feelings of what to expect whether it is this year or next year..

"Getting a little experience was great, even my freshman year going into the UMass game which a lot of people thought I should have redshirted but I respected the coaches’ decisions and I learned a lot from going into that game. I think everything has a positive outlook on it."

With four starting offensive linemen for the UCF game being seniors, Samra is one of the younger linemen who figures to shoulder the load in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. He certainly has a good pedigree as he played for a Don Bosco Prep team which won national championships in 2009 and 2011.

"One thing my high school coach taught us is whatever you can do, just be a winner and that is what I try to bring to this program, whatever I do just go and do things with great effort, great energy and all great things will happen," Samra said.

"I have never dealt with (an 0-6 start) but things happen, you can’t keep your head down at that point. You have to keep being positive and good things will happen."

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