SEC Defensive Player of the Year Michael Sam confirmed in two media interviews on Sunday that he is gay.
Sam, an All-America defensive tackle at Missouri, is a top prospect in the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. Assuming Sam is drafted and makes a team, he would become the first openly gay player in the NFL.
“I understand how big this is,” said Sam, who decided to come out after his experience at the Senior Bowl last month, where he said many fellow players were already aware of his sexual orientation.
“It’s a big deal. No one has done this before. And it’s kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be. I want to be a football player in the NFL,” said Sam, who is projected as a third- to fourth-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
According to published reports, Sam came out to his teammates and coaches at Missouri in August.