Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Arena Football League icon Lawrence Samuels is back in a Tampa Bay Storm uniform

Sixteen years ago, Bill Clinton was in his first term as president, O.J. Simpson was leading the police down a California freeway and Forrest Gump was playing to packed theaters across the country. And 1994 was the year a soon-to-be local icon first pulled on a Storm jersey.

Related News/Archive

Receiver Lawrence Samuels, now in his 15th season with the Storm and 16th in the Arena Football League, has spent the past 11/2 decades catching balls, setting records and capturing championships with the league's most successful organization. Signed on April 12, Samuels returned to game action April 16.

"It feels great to be back," he said. "Anything I can do to help this team win, I'll do."

Take a quick look at the top four receivers in professional football history: Jerry Rice (1,549 catches), Marvin Harrison (1,102), Cris Carter (1,101) and Tim Brown (1,094). No. 5 on that Mount Rushmore of receiving greats is Samuels at 1,028, though stats have always taken a backseat to a player coach Tim Marcum refers to as "No. 22."

"(Samuels) is team first all the way," Marcum said. "He fights for the (Storm) logo."

Samuels is fifth in Arena league history with 11,717 receiving yards and has led the Storm to three titles. He holds the league record for consecutive games with a reception (136), was named to the all-Arena team five times, the all-Ironman team three more and earned MVP honors in Arena Bowl XVII in 2003, the Storm's most recent title.

"Whatever we ask of Lawrence," Marcum said, "he gladly does … and does well."

At the beginning of the season, however, it didn't look like Samuels would be in a Storm uniform this year. The team went through training camp and the first two weeks of the season (the Storm had a bye in Week 2), including a season-opening 69-58 loss to Tulsa, without Samuels.

"We had kept in touch, and we were talking with him the whole time," Marcum said. "I felt it was a matter of time before he got back out here. It couldn't have come at a better time."

Samuels, who remained in good shape, practiced with the team a week before helping the Storm to its first win of the season, 54-41 over Dallas on April 16.

"I felt pretty good out there," said Samuels, who caught six passes for 50 yards. "I'm not quite there physically yet, but I'm close."

Though Marcum is tickled to have Samuels back in the fold, injuries remain a concern. Samuels will turn 40 on Saturday and saw considerable action at linebacker against Dallas, recording four tackles.

"He's a special guy. That's for sure," Marcum said. "You don't see a whole bunch of 39-year-olds running around making plays like that guy can."

Samuels joins a talented but young receiving corps. Tyrone Timmons looks like a star in the making while Hank Edwards and Cleannord Saintil have excellent hands and game-breaking potential. None of the three is older than 26.

"I'm still a work in progress right now," Samuels said. "But I look forward to helping this organization any way I can and helping these young receivers get better."

.Up next

Storm at Milwaukee

When/where: 5 p.m. today; Bradley Center

Radio/TV: 1250-AM;

More info: The Storm's next home game is 7:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Arizona. For tickets, call (813) 301-6600 or go to

Arena Football League icon Lawrence Samuels is back in a Tampa Bay Storm uniform 04/24/10 [Last modified: Saturday, April 24, 2010 8:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]
  2. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis


    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  3. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  4. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”
  5. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. laughing right along after comical dive

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Souza being Souza.

    That seemed to be the best way to describe the entertaining — and comically bad — dive Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. attempted in Friday's game, and the good humor he showed in handling the fallout, including a standing ovation his next at-bat from the …