Ra’Shaad Samples is well aware of USA TODAY High School Sports’ “Ultimate Embarrassment” series, which is why he feels perfectly comfortable with saying that linemen getting flagged for holding or quarterbacks throwing interceptions “aren’t even close” to being as embarrassing as a receiver dropping a touchdown pass.
“Are you kidding?” said Samples a senior wide receiver at Skyline (Dallas). “I mean it’s not even kinda close. You dropped a touchdown pass! You didn’t get those points. Do you know what that means? Do you know what that feels like? Trust me, you don’t ever want to know. It’s so embarrassing.”
Samples makes a compelling argument, and he’s got other elite receivers to back him up.
We caught up with them and had them break down the ultimate embarrassment of having “butter fingers” then had them dish on the proper way to play it off.
Ra’Shaad Samples, Skyline (Dallas), 2013
Committed to: Oklahoma State
The Initial Reaction: “I immediately look at my hands. I really do. Then I look at the ball rolling around in the end zone. It’s hard to describe that kind of embarrassment. The goal of football is to score and you just stopped your team from scoring, basically. It doesn’t get any worse. I start feeling a little sick and try to shake it off, but it’s hard.”
The Play-off: “I just run back to the huddle as fast as humanly possible. I mean I do a full-out sprint, and clap my hands while I run. Then I just tell my teammates ‘It’s all good fellas, I got the next one.’ I just try and go ahead and get it out there because I know they’re really mad at me. It usually works. Even though I know they’re still mad. But I feel better.”
Eldridge Massington, Mesquite (Mesquite, Texas), 2013
Committed to: Southern Cal
The Initial Reaction: “I start laughing like, ‘Did I really just drop this ball?’ It’s crazy because you’re probably wide open and you just drop it. It’s so embarrassing. The stadium is always full and all you hear is ‘Aaaaaw!’ That’s the worst.”
The Play-off: “I just go to my quarterback and tell him to come back to me the next play. I feel like I have to do that because I not only cost us a score I cost him some good stats. So I just want to make up for it right away. Usually I catch the next ball and get a big gain. That makes em’ forget.”
Tristyn Bennett, Yulee (Yulee, Fla.), 2014
Committed to: Undecided
The Initial Reaction: “It’s bad. The crowd is the worst part because they’re so loud anticipating the catch. You just know that everyone in the stadium saw you drop that pass. Then you’ve got to deal with your teammates because you know they’re a little upset with you. I can’t even tell you. It’s so embarrassing.”
The Play-off: “The best way to play it off is to run back to the huddle and just reinforce to your teammates that it won’t be happening again. On the next play, if it’s thrown to you, you’ve got to catch it. But if it’s a running play, you’ve got to put the guy you’re blocking on his back. You’ve got to do something like that to make sure everyone knows that you’re going to do better.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter @JayJayUSATODAY.