Player Profile #100 – DE/OLB Sam Acho

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There’s no question that University of Texas DE Sam Acho is an exceptional talent. The question comes on whether he’s better as a football player, student or person.

Acho was a two-year starter for the Longhorns and he played all four seasons there. He earned his degree last December and was honored for his academic performance with the William Campbell Trophy, known as the academic Heisman Trophy. As a person, he’s been honored for his work off the field with various groups, including his father’s ministry, where they make a trip each year to Nigeria where they deliver medical supplies.

There is a lot to the Sam Acho story.  

FAMILY BUSINESS

Samuel Onyedikachi Acho

Born: September 6, 1988 in Dallas, TX.

Family: His parents are Dr. Omyebunchi (Sonny) and Christie Acho. Both parents were born in Nigeria. Dad is a pastor and psychotherapist. Mom is a nurse practicioner. Younger brother Emmanuel is OLB at Texas.

BODY OF WORK

  • Height – 6-feet, 1½ inches.
  • Weight – 262 pounds.
  • Arms – 33½ inches.
  • Hand – 9¾ inches.
  • 40-yard dash – 4.67 seconds.
  • 20-yard dash – 2.7 seconds.
  • 10-yard dash – 1.66 seconds.
  • Bench press – 23 repetitions at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 33 ½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 9-feet, 4 inches.

HIGH SCHOOL

Graduated from St. Mark’s High School in Dallas, class of ’07. St. Mark’s is a private boys only high school that has a long list of famous graduates, including singers Steve Miller and Boz Scaggs, actors Tommy Lee Jones, Owen and Luke Wilson. It’s also the alma mater of Clark and Daniel Hunt, and the school’s football stadium is named after Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt.

Excelled in academics and athletics, Acho won 10 letters in four years playing football, basketball and track & field. He was also a four-year member of the school’s honor role. Acho still holds the school record in the discus (163-feet, 5 inches) and shot put (57-feet, 9¼ inches.) He competed in the Texas Relays three times. As a senior, he averaged 12 points and 15 rebounds per game for the basketball team. Played football for coach Hayward Lee.

FOOTBALL

  • 2006 – team captain who played DE/TE for a team that finished 5-4. He racked up 12 sacks.
  • 2005 – team captain, played DE/TE for a team that went 9-2. He registered 10 sacks.
  • 2004 – played DE/TE for the 10-1 team that won a conference championship.
  • 2003 – saw playing time with the varsity squad as defensive tackle.

RECRUITING

Acho received offers from Big 12 Conference teams Nebraska, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, along with Texas. Other schools that recruited him were Southern Cal, Stanford, Iowa, TCU and Virginia. He committed to Texas in August of ’06.

COLLEGE

He graduated from the business honors program at the University of Texas in December 2010 with a degree in marketing. He finished his college career with a 3.55 grade-point average.

Acho received numerous honors during his time in Austin. He received the academic Heisman Trophy in 2010, taking home the William V. Campbell Trophy and was awarded the Wuerffel Trophy given the college football player who contributed on the field and in the community. Acho was also won the Awards & Recognition Association Sportsmanship Award.

He was a three-time first-team choice for the Big 12 Conference All-Academic team. He was a member of the UT student advisory council and he was the school’s representative at the ’09 NCAA Leadership Conference. Acho was also named to UT’s Friar Society, a 100-year old honors society that recognizes students who have made a significant contribution to the university.

FOOTBALL

  • 2010 – Started all 12 games at strong side DE, played some at DT and on special teams. His 5 fumble recoveries led the nation. He had 10 total tackles and one sack vs. Baylor and picked up 3 sacks against Florida Atlantic.
  • 2009 – Opened all 14 games at strong side DE. His 4 recovered fumbles was good for a tie to lead the nation. Against Colorado he had 2 sacks and he finished the season with sacks in 4 straight games.
  • 2008 – Played in all 13 games at DE, as well as on special teams.
  • 2007 – Saw action in 11 of 13 games, playing at DE and in the kicking game. His first college sack came on September 22 against Rice.
 Year  G

 

S

Total

Tackles

Tackles

For Loss

 

Sacks

Forced

Fumbles

Recovered

Fumbles

QB

Pressures

2010 12

12

59

17.5

9

5

5

18

2009 14

14

63

14

10

2

4

15

2008 13

0

16

3

3

1

0

9

2007 11

0

8

1

1

0

0

1

Total 50

26

146

35.5

23

8

9

43

MEDICAL
 
There were no major physical problems during his four years in Austin; as he was dressed for all but two games in four seasons. Those two games came during his freshman season.
 
HIGHLIGHTS

 

EVALUATION FOR PRO FOOTBALL

Strengths – At Texas he showed the ability to rush the passer from an inside position. He’s got a full-time motor and makes a lot of plays on second effort and not giving up on a play. Good against the run, as he’s able to take on double-team blocks and hold his ground. Strong upper body allows him to get of blockers. Acho will play from sideline-to-sideline, giving great effort at all times. He’s very intelligent (football smart) and hard working, especially in the weight room.

Weaknesses – Not an exceptional pass rusher, Acho does not have the body flexibility to gain leverage when rushing off the corner. Coming out of his stance, he doesn’t explode into blockers, although he has the strength to hold his ground. He’s not exceptionally quick and every drop into coverage can be an adventure. In scouting parlance, he does not play well in space.

Analysis – Acho is a tweener when it comes to making any kind of transition to the 3-4 defense. He’s too small to be able to handle an end spot. But his ability to move to outside linebacker is in some doubt. He’s worked hard in the off-season to improve himself and his coverage drops. Teams will love his brains, personality and his non-stop motor.

WHAT THE SCOUTS SAY

From an AFC scout – “He’s a tweener and I’m sure he’ll probably go out and have a nice four or five-year career. But he should really just get on with his life. He’s such a smart kid with a great personality he’ll be successful no matter what he does.”

From an NFC Scout – “He’s a poor man’s Brian Orakpo. He doesn’t have the pass rushing skills that Orakpo showed coming out of Austin. Great kid, but not much upside.”

WHAT HE HAS TO SAY

On making transition in NFL from DE to OLB – “I look forward to the challenge. I’m a competitor. I wouldn’t even call it a challenge. I’d call it an opportunity.”

Toughest part of DE to OLB transition – “I think it will be seeing the game from a different perspective. I’m so used to seeing the game as a defensive end, with one hand on the ground. At LB, I’m standing up and probably playing a little bit slower.”

Describe his pass rushing style – “Get to the quarterback. Whatever it takes.”

Here’s what Acho had to say in a press conference at the NFL Combine:

Sam Acho

WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY

Texas coach Mack Brown – “As nice as he is and as smart as he is, he’s really tough. He’s got great instincts. He can fly and he’s one of the best special teams players we’ve got. This is a very, very special young man.”

DOES HE FIT WITH THE CHIEFS

His personality and intelligence are the types of things that just about every team in the league would love to have as part of their mix. There are plenty of other players available with similar abilities, so he would not bring any unique qualities on the field. If Acho lasts until the fourth or fifth round, I would expect him to be on the Chiefs board for consideration.


3 Responses to “Player Profile #100 – DE/OLB Sam Acho”

  • March 16, 2011  - vincent says:

    Great breakdown, Bob. I would make a gentlemen’s wager that Sam Acho would be gone late 2nd to 3rd.


  • March 16, 2011  - COCHIEF says:

    Excellent information, Bob.

    I subscribed to your regular season reports last year and plan to do so again next year, if there is a next year. However, good luck in getting people to sign up for your draft information given the current labor situation. Collateral damage.


  • March 19, 2011  - Premium Draft Coverage Underway | Chiefs Football at BobGretz.com says:

    [...] Here’s a free taste of our top 100 bios to give you an idea of the information available.  [...]




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