Former University of Texas and NFL linebacker Sam Acho has signed a multi-year deal to join ESPN’s comprehensive college football coverage, primarily serving as a lead studio voice on college football Saturdays on ESPN2. Acho will also call select college football matchups this fall.
“Sam is a welcome addition to ESPN,” said Lee Fitting, ESPN senior vice president of production. “Our viewers will quickly come to know and appreciate Sam’s trademark energy, his passion for the game, his dynamic analysis, and his ability to connect with commentators, coaches and players alike.”
In addition to his college football duties, which include regular appearances on SportsCenter, Get Up and College Football Live, the Lifetime Longhorn will contribute as an NFL analyst across ESPN studio programming.
“I’m beyond excited to be joining the talented team at ESPN,” Acho said. “You always want to be associated with the best, and the people at ESPN are just that. I’ll be breaking down college football and the NFL, and having a ton of fun along the way. Looking forward to the journey ahead and can’t wait to get started.”
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 graduated from the business honors program at UT’s McCombs School of Business in December 2010 with a double major in business and marketing.
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 is also a vice president of the NFL Players Association, an organization in which he has served since his second year in the NFL.
He received his MBA in 2015 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. Acho is also the vice president of Living Hope Christian Ministries, which provides aid to Nigeria through medical mission trips.
An author, ambassador and activist, Acho released Let the World See You: How to Be Real in a World Full of Fakes in October 2020, sharing anecdotes and lessons to reveal how readers can overcome their fears and discover their true selves. Acho is the brother of New York Times bestselling author and former ESPN football analyst, Emmanuel Acho.
The full roster of ESPN college football commentators for the 2021 season will be announced later this summer.