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January 14, 2013
Sam Pettway, safety from UMS-Wright Prep School in Mobile, Ala., took his first and last official visit this weekend before committing to Samford.
"I went to Samford not really knowing a lot about the school or the background," Pettway said. "When I first got up there, I could start to feel a great atmosphere.
"I bonded with a lot of people. Everyone was friendly. I was introduced to the players, and I could see myself fitting in with them, socializing and becoming friends with them.
"There's a great strengthening and nutrition plan, the facilities are nice, and it's a great location that's not too far from home. It immediately felt like home."
Pettway said he committed because he was impressed by more than the football program.
"I'm not one to be easily convinced," he said. "I'm a big sports fan--I like to have fun and play football. But it was different here; it wasn't all about the athletics. They focused more on getting a good education.
"The first thing that got to me was when we sat down and talked to the academic advisors and counselors. They were really helpful. We talked about everything with academics, which is really important to my parents and me. They have a 13-to-1 teacher-student ratio. That is good to know so I can go somewhere if I need help.
"The focus was becoming a better person when you leave the university. The pieces connected, and that's why I committed."
The 6-foot, 180-pound prospect has cancelled his upcoming official visits with Northern Iowa, Nicholls State and Marshall.
"I've talked to the coaches, and they respected my decision," Pettway said. "Lately I haven't talked to many schools. I had Wake Forrest, Troy and Southern Miss on the side, but none of them pulled the trigger. I needed to make this decision, and it's a good one for my future and my life."