Factbox: Defensive end Michael Sam

August 30, 2014

(Reuters) - Factbox on defensive end Michael Sam, whose bid to become the first openly gay player in the National Football League (NFL) was put on hold when he failed to make the St. Louis Rams' 53-man roster for the 2014 regular season on Saturday.

Born Jan. 7, 1990, in Galveston, Texas.


Attended Hitchcock High School in Hitchcock, Texas where he played football, both as a defensive end and offensive tackle.

Earned first-team All-District honors as a defensive lineman in all four years of high school, and as an offensive lineman in his junior and senior years.

Recruited by a number of colleges, he accepted a scholarship with the University of Missouri where he became a consensus All-American and co-defensive player of the year in the Southeastern Conference as a senior in 2013.

He totaled 123 tackles during his college career, including 36 for loss, 21 sacks, six forced fumbles and two intercepted passes before graduating from Missouri in December 2013.


After taking part in the Senior Bowl in January 2014, talent evaluators said he might struggle in the NFL over concerns he might be too small to play regularly on the defensive line and not athletic enough to play as a linebacker.

Sam announced that he was gay in February and became the first openly gay player to be selected in a National Football League Draft when he was taken in the seventh round by the Rams on May 10.

Survived several rounds of cuts by the Rams during the preseason while vying with undrafted Ethan Westbrooks for the last of nine defensive line spots on the team.

Had a team-leading three sacks and made 11 tackles, equal third best, in the preseason.

Was released by the Rams on Saturday when they announced their final 53-man roster before the NFL's 4 p.m. ET deadline.

(Compiled by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry)