College Football & NFL Studio and XFL Analyst
Former University of Texas and NFL linebacker Sam Acho joined ESPN in 2021 as part of the platform’s comprehensive college football coverage team, primarily serving as a lead studio voice on college football Saturdays on ESPN2 and calling select college football matchups.
In addition to his college football duties, which include regular appearances on SportsCenter, Get Up and College Football Live, the Lifetime Longhorn contributes as an NFL analyst across ESPN studio programming. He also contributes to ESPN’s XFL game coverage as an analyst.
Acho’s first book, Let the World See You: How to Be Real in a World Full of Fakes, was released in October 2020. In it he shares lessons from his own life as well as stories from others to reveal how you can overcome your fears and discover your true selves. His second book, Change Starts With You: Following Your Fire to Heal a Broken World, was released in March 2023.
The 2010 Big 12 Male Sportsperson of the Year, Acho played college football at the University of Texas, where he received the William V. Campbell Trophy as college football’s top scholar-athlete, and the NCAA Top VIII award, recognizing the top eight student-athletes in collegiate athletics. Acho was recently inducted into the University of Texas Athletics Hall of Honor.
Acho was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 2011 and played four seasons as a linebacker with the team before signing with the Chicago Bears before the 2015-16 season, spending four years in the Windy City. He concluded his nearly decade-long professional career with stints suiting up for the Buffalo Bills and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Acho is a two-time nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, the league’s only award that recognizes both civic and professional contributions. Acho was also a vice president of the NFL Players Association.
Acho graduated from the business honors program at UT’s McCombs School of Business with a double major in business honors and marketing. He received his MBA at Arizona State’s Thunderbird School of Global Management and is the founder and president of Athletes for Justice, an organization that unites professional and everyday athletes globally to fight injustice. He serves as an ambassador for the International Justice Mission and is also the vice president of Living Hope Christian Ministries, which provides aid to Nigeria through medical mission trips.