2015 NFL DRAFT
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Sam Acho

| | College: Texas
 
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Overview

Acho won the 2010 William V. Campbell Trophy, formerly known as the Draddy Trophy and commonly referred to as the "Academic Heisman." He excelled in three sports in high school, tested out of 26 class hours before attending UT, and won multiple Academic All-American awards for his production and academic prowess.

The Dallas native earned Most Outstanding Defensive Newcomer as a true freshman in 2006 after playing 11 games, making 10 tackles on defense and special teams, three for loss and 1.5 sacks. Acho took part in 13 games in 2008, accumulating 16 tackles, three sacks and nine quarterback pressures in reserve duty. After stepping into Brian Orakpo's starting spot as a junior, he earned honorable mention All-Big 12 with 63 tackles, 14 for loss, 10 sacks, two pass breakups, four recovered fumbles and 15 quarterback pressures.

Although he did not match Orakpo's huge senior season, Acho earned first-team All-Big 12 honors by leading the team's defensive linemen with 59 tackles, 17 for loss, nine sacks and five forced fumbles. He lacks exceptional quickness as a pass rusher, but shows versatility when regularly playing as a five-technique to take up blockers so his brother, Emmanuel, could make plays from his outside linebacker spot. Acho will be considered good value in the top half of the draft as a swing end able to play the run or pass.

Analysis

Pass rush: Hustle pass rusher who needs work to excel at the next level. Good burst upfield after the snap, but lacks flexibility to get under the pads of an offensive tackle and turn the corner. Must improve using his hands to shed upon initial contact while maintaining balance. Strong enough to bull rush but does not use that move very often on the edge. Good secondary effort; attacks the pocket until the ball is away. A number of his sacks come when lined up inside. Capable of disrupting passing lanes but doesn't get his hands up consistently.

Run defense: Often takes on double-team blocks while lined up in the five-technique position. Plays with fair strength at the point of attack and frees linebackers to make plays behind him. Assignment-sure player, keeping containment on his side of the line when set up outside either tackle. Keeps his eyes in the backfield when engaged. Can punch and shed the block to get outside when not doubled. Could disengage more regularly inside and often watches backs run through the hole. Nice hustle in space, will chase down mobile quarterbacks from behind. Plays with good anchor for his size but must bulk up to play five-technique at the next level.

Explosion: Not exceptional in this area but has a good combination of strength and explosiveness off the snap. Does not turn the corner on better offensive tackles. Strong upper body and length give him a good punch on initial contact for bull rushes and when making plays against the run. Does not project to be elite rushing the passer, which limits his upside.

Strength: Has the weight-room and functional strength to play at the next level, but more consistent hands would increase his value. Can stack the tackle on the edge and hold his ground against the run using leverage.

Tackling: Not an explosive tackler but is strong enough to force fumbles when wrapping up quarterbacks. Gives great effort to bring down ballcarriers. Uses hustle and length to chase down plays to the sideline and downfield. Only adequate change-of-direction agility in the backfield -- will be frozen and eluded by NFL-caliber backs as he fails to break down. Willing to be the second or third man into the pile.

Intangibles: Intelligent, hard-working player who puts in the time in the weight and film rooms. Received multiple national Academic All-American awards, the 2010 William V. Campbell Trophy and National ARA Sportsmanship Awards. Brother Emmanuel is a junior linebacker for the Longhorns. Parents born in Nigeria. His middle name, Onyedikachi, means "who is like unto God".

Career Notes

Four-year defensive end who also played at defensive tackle as a senior … became Texas' second William V. Campbell Trophy winner (nation's top football student-athlete) in 2010 … won the 2010 Wuerffel Trophy (all-around excellence in athletic, academic and community achievement) and ARA Sportsmanship Award … became UT's seventh two-time Academic All-American … named second-team All-America by the Walter Camp Football Foundation and third-team All-America by the Associated Press in 2010 … a member of the 2010 AFCA Good Works Team … a 2010 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete … a finalist for the 2010 Lott IMPACT Trophy and Lowe's Senior CLASS Award … a 2010 Lombardi Award semifinalist … a 2010 unanimous first-team All-Big 12 selection … earned a spot on the prestigious Playboy Preseason All-America team in 2010 … member of the 2010 watch lists for the Nagurski Trophy, Outland Trophy and Hendricks Award … played in 50 career games, including 26 starts … posted 148 tackles, 23.5 sacks (10th on UT's career list) 37 TFL, 44 pressures, eight PBD, eight forced fumbles and nine fumble recoveries (second on UT's career list) in his career.

Started all 12 games as a senior … recorded 59 tackles, 17 TFL, nine sacks, 18 pressures, five forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries … his five fumble recoveries led the nation and tied the UT single-season record … started all 14 games as a junior in 2009 … a Lott Trophy semifinalist … an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection … led the team with four fumble recoveries, which tied for the most nationally (t-No. 3 UT single-season) … also tallied 63 tackles (44 solo), 14 TFL, 10 sacks, three PBD, two forced fumbles and 15 pressures … played in all 13 games at defensive end and on special teams in 2008 … compiled 16 tackles, three sacks, nine pressures, two PBD and a forced fumble … saw action in 11 games at defensive end and on special teams as a true freshman in 2007 … tallied 10 tackles, 1.5 sacks, three TFL, two pressures and two PBD … was a three-time all-conference performer and four-time member of the honor roll in high school … ranked as one of ESPN's top 150 national prospects … a three-time Academic All-District selection … a three-time first-team Academic All-Big 12 selection.

2010 Season

Became Texas' second William V. Campbell Trophy winner (nation's top football student-athlete) … won the Wuerffel Trophy (all-around excellence in athletic, academic and community achievement) and ARA Sportsmanship Award … became UT's seventh two-time Academic All-American … named second-team All-America by the Walter Camp Football Foundation and third-team All-America by the Associated Press … a member of the AFCA Good Works Team … a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete … a finalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy and Lowe's Senior CLASS Award … a Lombardi Award semifinalist … a unanimous first-team All-Big 12 selection … earned a spot on the prestigious Playboy Preseason All-America team … member of the watch lists for the Nagurski Trophy, Outland Trophy and Hendricks Award … earned UT's Lan Hewlett Academic Award, Coca-Cola Community Service Award, and Dr. Nasser Al-Rashid Strength and Conditioning Award … named George "Hook" McCullough Team MVP, Mike Campbell Most Valuable Defensive Player and a team captain … also received the Roy Williams-Joe Jamail Leadership Award, Joseph W. Moore Tenacity Award and Clyde Littlefield Most Team Spirited Award for defense.

Started all 12 games at defensive end and appeared at defensive tackle and on special teams … recorded 59 tackles, 17 TFL, nine sacks, 18 pressures, five forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries … his five fumble recoveries led the nation and tied the UT single-season record … twice tabbed the Defensive Player of the Game by the coaching staff … logged four tackles (three solo), one sack, one TFL, one pressure and one forced fumble at Rice … shared team's Ball Hawk Award with Keenan Robinson for his effort against the Owls … tallied five tackles (three solo), three TFL, one sack and three pressures versus Wyoming … earned Defensive Player of the Game recognition from the coaches for his effort against the Cowboys … logged two tackles and one TFL at Texas Tech … registerd five tackles (four solo), one sack, one TFL, one fumble recovery and forced fumble versus UCLA … recorded seven tackles, one sack, one TFL and one pressure against No. 8 Oklahoma … logged three tackles (two solo), one TFL, one PBD and one pressure at No. 5/4 Nebraska … notched eight tackles (seven solo), one sack and one TFL versus Iowa State.

Recorded 10 tackles (seven solo), three TFL, one sack, two pressures, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery against No. 25/24 Baylor and was named National Defensive Lineman of the Week by the CFPA … registered four tackles (two solo) at Kansas State … tallied four tackles, one TFL, one fumble recovery and one pressure versus No. 12/11 Oklahoma State and was named Lott IMPACT Trophy National Player of the Week … posted six tackles, three sacks (-33 yards), four tackles for loss (-49 yards), one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and four QB pressures against Florida Atlantic and was named National Defensive Performer of the Week by the CFPA … also provided the QB pressure that resulted in an INT at the Owls' 9-yard line and set up the `Horns first TD, and his fumble recovery in the fourth quarter set up another Texas TD … notched one tackle, one fumble recover and two pressures against No. 17/18 Texas A&M.

2009 Season

Started 14 games at defensive end … a Lott Trophy semifinalist … tabbed honorable mention All-Big 12 by The Associated Press and league's coaches … a first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American … named the team's Most Productive Performer on defense for efforts against ULM and Baylor … helped UT rank 12th nationally in scoring defense (16.7 ppg), third in total defense (251.9 ypg), first in rushing defense (72.4 ypg), 10th in pass efficiency defense (100.5 rating) and 19th in pass defense (179.6 ypg) … UT also ranked first nationally in INTs (25) and tied for first in forced turnovers (37) … led the team with four fumble recoveries, which tied for the most nationally (t-No. 3 UT single-season) … also tallied 63 tackles (44 solo), 14 TFL, 10 sacks, three PBD, two forced fumbles and 15 pressures … posted four tackles, two fumble recoveries, two PBD and a pressure against ULM … registered five tackles, two sacks, a fumble recovery and a pressure against Wyoming.

Notched a tackle and a fumble recovery versus Texas Tech … recorded three tackles, a sack and two pressures against UTEP … notched five tackles, four TFL, two sacks and a pressure versus Colorado … tallied four tackles and three pressures against No. 20 Oklahoma … registered three tackles and three pressures at Missouri … notched four tackles, a forced fumble and a PBU at Oklahoma State … recorded four tackles, a sack and a pressure versus UCF … registered six tackles, two TFL, a forced fumble and a pressure at Baylor … tallied two tackles, a sack and a TFL versus Kansas … posted six tackles, a sack and two pressures at Texas A&M … notched a career-high 10 tackles and added a sack and a TFL in Big 12 Championship versus No. 21 Nebraska … tallied six tackles and a sack in the BCS Championship game against No. 1 Alabama.

2008 Season

Appeared in all 13 games at defensive end and on special teams … tabbed first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District 6 … a first-team Academic All-Big 12 selection … helped UT rank first in the Big 12 in scoring defense (18.8 ppg/18th NCAA), total defense (342.9 ypg), rushing defense (83.5 ypg/third NCAA) and second in pass efficiency defense (124.2 rating) … recorded 16 tackles, three sacks, three TFL, nine pressures, two PBD and a forced fumble … posted two pressures in the season opener against FAU … notched two tackles and his first career forced fumble at UTEP … recorded three tackles and a sack versus Rice … tallied two tackles and a pressure against Arkansas … added a tackle at Colorado and a pressure versus No. 1 Oklahoma … posted a tackle and a PBD against No. 11 Missouri … posted a tackle and a pressure at No. 7 Texas Tech … notched two tackles, a PBU and a pressure against Baylor … compiled two tackles, two pressures and a sack at Kansas … recorded a sack and a pressure against Texas A&M … notched a tackle versus No. 10 Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl.

2007 Season

Appeared in 11 games at defensive end and on special teams … named one of UT's Outstanding Defensive Newcomers … helped UT give up just 93.4 rushing yards per game (sixth NCAA) … tallied 10 tackles, 1.5 sacks, three TFL, two pressures and two PBD … recorded his first career tackle, while tallying a sack and a pressure against Rice … posted a tackle at Iowa State … recorded three tackles, including a half-sack, and a pressure at Baylor … notched a tackle versus Texas Tech … added a tackle against No. 12 Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl.

High School

A three-time All-Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) performer who was also a four-year member of the honor roll … versatile three-sport letterman who was a member of ESPN's top 150 national prospects … led St. Mark's to a 24-7 record during his final three seasons and an SPC Championship as a sophomore … was named captain by his teammates as a junior and senior … played DT as a freshman and DE and TE as a sophomore, junior and senior … earned All-SPC and all-district honors as a senior … named the team's Most Valuable Player … participated in the North vs. South Private School All-Star game … recorded 12 sacks as a senior … posted four sacks in a game against Casady … led the Lions to a 9-2 record and a berth in the SPC Championship game as a junior … tabbed All-SPC … also voted the Lion Award winner by his teammates for being the most respected player on the team … notched 10 sacks … helped St. Mark's to a 10-1 season and an SPC Championship as as sophomore … named All-SPC … also was a four-year letterman in track and field and a three-year letterman in basketball.

Was a two-year captain in track and field … holds the school record in the discus with a toss of 163-5 … ranks second in school history in the shot put with a throw of 55-1 … won the SPC Championship in the discus and shot put as a junior and the discus as a sophomore … named St. Mark's most valuable field athlete as a junior … competed in the Texas Relays as a sophomore and junior … finished 4th in the discus (B Division) as a junior … averaged 12 ppg and 15 rpg in basketball as a senior … earned All-SPC South Zone honors as a junior in that sport … was a member of the Spanish Honor Society, the Intercultural Club and the student government … was a class representative as a senior and class vice president as a sophomore … is close to being fluent in Spanish … spends time at the Jubilee Community Center helping teach adults English as a second language … spends time each summer taking mission trips to Nigeria where he performs mission work and helps provide medical care … volunteers time to special events for local homeless shelters … volunteered to help with landscaping around Richland College … mom, Christi, ran track at University College Hospital in Nigeria.

Personal

Full name is Samuel Onyedikachi Acho … middle name means one who is like God' … born 9/6/88 in Dallas.

 
 
Latest News
04/04/2011 - Texas Pro day: At Texas' pro day held Tuesday it didn't take me long to figure out the Pittsburgh Steelers' top draft needs. The Super Bowl team sent its head coach, general manager, and entire defensive staff to take a look at defensive backs Aaron Williams, Curtis Brown and Chykie Brown, as well as pass-rusher Sam Acho. They weren't alone. Among the 53 coaches, scouts and personnel men, all 32 teams were represented. The contingent included two head coaches, Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin and Detroit's Jim Schwartz, and about 30 assistant coaches, which tells me their teams' scouts gave the Texas players high grades and they were present to verify the reports and poke around some more. Others included Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, Cowboys director of scouting Tom Ciskowski, Jets defensive backs coach Dennis Thurman, and Broncos scout Cornell Green (a basketball player from Utah State I signed as an undrafted free agent in 1962). Also on hand to help out with drills were six former Longhorns from the NFL ??? Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson, Falcons OT Justin Blalock, Redskins DE Brian Orakpo, Titans DB Michael Griffin and Raiders defenders Lamarr Houston and Michael Huff. Acho (6-1 ??, 259 pounds) stood on everything at the combine. He had an excellent workout. He showed great change in direction, which will help him as an OLB in a 3-4 defense. - Gil Brandt, NFL.com

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