Sept. 23, 2010
Sporting News page for Acho
Complete story (SportingNews.com)
Senior DE Sam Acho has been named one of Sporting News' 20 Smartest Athletes in all of sports, the magazine has announced. Acho was one of only three collegiate athletes chosen to the list that was revealed online and in its Sept. 27 issue, which is on newsstands now.
A 2009 ESPN The Magazine First-Team Academic All-American, Acho is a two-year member of UT’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council. He was the choice as UT’s representative at the 2009 NCAA Leadership Conference in May in which one student-athlete from each NCAA school attends. He is the student-athlete representative of the Big 12 on the NCAA Football Issues Committee and is one of UT's representatives at the Big 12's Conference on Black Student Government. In addition, he has attended the Minority Mentorship Symposium in Austin, which features high-profile leaders, executives and stars from the business, entertainment and music industries speaking on topics that focus on success.
Acho earned CoSIDA Academic All-District 6 and first-team Academic All-Big 12 honors in 2008 and 2009 and is a six-time UT Athletics Director’s Honor Roll member. The past two years, he has been honored with the Arthur Ashe, Jr., Sports Scholarship Award, which is a national award that recognizes minority student-athletes who are committed to both education and athletics. An honors business major in the prestigious McCombs School of Business, Acho maintains a 3.55 GPA and is scheduled to graduate in December. Last year, he completed an internship at Target where he had a marketing idea advance to the level of the CEO.
In April 2010, Acho was inducted into UT's Friar Society, which is the oldest and most prestigious honor society at The University of Texas and recognizes students who have made significant contributions to The University.
Just named to the 2010 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team for his efforts in the community, Acho and his family have made several medical mission trips to his parents' native country of Nigeria, including this past summer. He helped organize a fundraiser in Dallas prior to the 2009 and 2010 trips, then he, his brother Emmanuel and several teammates traveled to assist his father and approximately 40 doctors in giving medical treatment to Nigerians who may only have access to a doctor once a year. The family hopes to build a permanent clinic in the area soon.
Among his other individual community efforts; he has mentored 3rd and 4th graders at O’Henry Middle School, spoken at Austin area high schools, taken the lead in organizing team donations to UT's Orange Santa program which provides Christmas gifts for the needy, participated in the Texas Round-Up teaching children the benefits of physical activity and health, volunteered at The Children’s Courtyard where he interacted with children and encouraged them to stay in school and spent time at the Jubilee Community Center helping teach adults English as a second language. In July, he helped build a home in Dallas through Habitat for Humanity.
He is also highly involved in the team’s community service program and is a regular visitor to the Dell Children’s Medical Center and has participated in visits by Wonders and Worries (children with life-threatening illnesses), the Rise School and the Arc of the Capital Area (children in early education with disabilities).
A 2009 Lott Trophy semifinalist, Acho has played in 41 career games, including 17 starts. He has posted 100 tackles (65 solo), 16.5 sacks, 25 TFL, 30 pressures, seven PBD, four fumble recoveries and four forced fumbles.
After three games this season, Acho has recorded 11 tackles (seven solo), two sacks, five TFL, four pressures and one forced fumble. He ranks 28th in the nation in TFL while helping the Texas defense rank first in rushing defense (44.0 ypg), second in total defense (206.7 ypg) and ninth in scoring defense (12.7 ppg). He was selected to the Playboy Preseason All-America team prior to this season and is a member of the Lombardi Award, Lott Trophy, Nagurski Trophy, Outland Trophy and Hendricks Award watch lists.
Last season, Acho started all 14 games en route to a 2009 Big 12 Championship and appearance in the BCS National Championship Game. He tallied 63 tackles (44 solo), 14 TFL, 10 sacks, 15 pressures, three PBD, four fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles, leading the team in sacks and fumble recoveries. The 10 sacks were tied for 20th on the NCAA list and the four fumble recoveries tied for the most nationally (t-No. 3 UT single-season).