Q&A with Samori Toure

Bill Huber

Samori Toure started his collegiate career at Montana before transferring to Nebraska for his senior season. A seventh-round draft pick who was given the nickname Capt. Casual for his work habits, Toure didn’t play the first six weeks of the regular season.

He made his NFL debut in week seven at Washington and caught a 37-yard touchdown pass against Buffalo in week eight.

Q: Where did the Capt. Casual nickname come from?

A: They felt like I wasn’t giving the effort or the finish that I should, and I agree with that. You’re supposed to burst for 15 (yards) every time you catch the ball, and there were a few times I didn’t do that and (coach Matt) LaFleur would always say, ‘You look real casual out there. You’re never going to be able to reach your potential if you’re not really just finishing and stop being casual. Be more intentional with everything.’

So, that’s kind of how that nickname came about. You don’t want to be known as that guy who’s casual, so I guess my practice habits just started to gradually get better.

Q: Did that bother you?

A: I wasn’t mad, but I was just like, ‘Dang, that’s not what you want to be known for.’ Like I said, you don’t want one of the greatest quarterbacks thinking you’re casual, so I’m like, ‘All right, if that’s what they think of me, I’ve got to change something.’

Q: Is that just your personality?

A: Yeah, I think that was a big part of it, just because I’m so laid back off the field. I kind of let my laid-back personality carry over to the field. Once I step on that field, I can’t be laid back anymore. I can still be calm, cool and collected, but I’ve got to be intentional with everything.

Q: Was there a moment when you cranked it up?

A: I think ‘12’ said something about it. He pulled me aside after practice and was basically saying, ‘You could be really good; you’ve just got to finish everything. Be intentional with everything,’ and he said, ‘I think you should be suiting up by midseason.’ So, that was a moment where I was like, ‘OK, I need to step it up.’

Q: That first career touchdown at Buffalo, did you keep the ball?

A; Yeah, I kept the ball. It’s in my locker.

Q: Any plans for it?

A: Just take it home. Maybe eventually frame it. I don’t know. I might ask him to sign it, but I don’t know if I want to ask him.

Q: Coming out of high school, what did people miss that led you to Montana?

A: It was probably a mixture of things. I never really went to any camps until I was going into my senior year, so I kind of started behind the eight-ball. I was in Oregon, which isn’t considered California or Texas when it comes to recruiting. So, people were watching my film saying, ‘Who is he going against?’

And then the last thing would be my size. I was probably 160 soaking wet coming out of high school. So, it was a combination of all those things.

Q: So, is the NFL a dream at that point in your life? Not that Montana is a bad program, but it’s not a football factory, either.

A: Coming out of high school, yeah, that’s the dream, obviously, but you can’t even really think about that unless you play college. So, my whole mindset was I want to be able to play DI and dominate the DI level and then see what comes after that.

Q: Does being overlooked, whether it was in college or not being invited to the Scouting Combine motivate you? Or what is your motivation?

A: I have a lot of different motivations. My loved ones, my mom is definitely my No. 1. Yeah, I definitely let that stuff drive me. I’m used to that. It’s been like that my whole career.

Definitely being the fifth-to-last pick in the draft, not being invited to the Combine, it’s just a little extra motivation.

Q: So, once you got to the NFL, did you have to prove to yourself that you belonged?

A: I knew that from Day 1. During the draft, after Nebraska, I was realistic with myself. I had people in my ear telling me that I was going in the fifth round to the seventh round. I knew I was going to be Day 3 but I knew I was better than that. It’s about showing everybody else.


Position: Wide Receiver

Age: 24

Season: Rookie

College: Nebraska