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Curtis Samuel: Mom 'just wanted to be a part of it' when she dropped him at camp

SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Carolina Panthers second-round draft pick Curtis Samuel still can’t believe all the attention he got because his mother drove him to training camp.

"I didn't think nobody seen it," he said on Friday when recalling the July 25 moment his mother dropped him off in the family car. "But when then I looked on [social media] I went, 'Wow. They actually caught it.'

"I guess nothing slips through y'all."

The moment was unusual on a day when enough players arrived in fancy cars and trucks that ESPN.com and other news outlets did a story on it.

A Charlotte radio station interviewed Samuel's mother, Nicole Samuel, who drove the car home.

"My mom, she's always there for me," said Samuel, who grew up in Brooklyn, New York. "She's been there for me through the whole way, Little League, high school and college. She's happy for me, and she just wanted to be a part of it."

Samuel just wants to be a part of the Panthers. In the first practice, he aggravated the hamstring that bothered him during offseason workouts, and he hasn't practiced since.

The former Ohio State wide receiver/running back has spent most of his time rehabbing the injury. This week, he caught a few passes on the side from quarterback Cam Newton as the 2015 NFL MVP rehabbed his shoulder.

The Panthers are hoping Samuel, who turned 21 on Friday, can help fill the need for a dynamic slot receiver the way first-round pick Christian McCaffrey has filled the need for a dynamic running back.

Samuel doesn't have a timetable for his return but hopes it's soon.

As for his mother, Samuel said she could do without all the attention she received when camp opened.

"Nah, she don’t like it too much," he said. "She'd probably stay at the house now."