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Former Longhorn Sam Acho Inks Multi-Year Deal With ESPN

Once a tantalizing defensive-end for the burnt orange, Acho will now be one of the faces for ESPN's college football coverage this fall

High-level production on and off the field has been a staple during the career of Sam Acho. The former Texas defensive-end did it all during his time on the Forty Acres, and that isn't going to stop anytime soon. 

According to Brian Davis of HookEm.com, Acho, 32, will be taking on a full-time role as a college football analyst on ESPN. The network announced that his new role will include being the lead CFB analyst on ESPN2 and calling games and doing NFL commentary with ESPN Radio. 

The first ESPN assignment for Acho will be at Big 12 media days next week in Arlington. He'll look to get off to a fun-filled start in anticipation for what should be a memorable football season. 

Acho was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 2011 and made quite a career for himself in the pros. After playing four years in Arizona, he suited up for the Chicago Bears from 2015-2018. Acho's most recent stint in the NFL came with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2019 season. 

Acho's success in his time on and off the field at Texas was heavily recognized on the national stage.

In 2010 alone, he won the Willam V. Campbell Trophy for being the nation's top football student-athlete, the Wuerffel Trophy for all-around excellence in athletic, academic, and community achievements, and was named the Big 12 Sportsperson of the Year. 

Pro experience, recognized excellence, and playing all four years in college makes him the perfect fit for a lead analyst role. For a personality like Acho, an opportunity like this seemed right. Still, hearing the news meant everything to him. 

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“I was shocked. Floored is probably a better word,” Acho said in an exclusive interview Wednesday with the American-Statesman. “I honestly broke down into tears. This is something I’ve been hoping to do for years, probably a decade. Football, great. Loved it. Awesome. But I wanted to be on TV. I love communicating, love being on stages, love connecting with people.”

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Acho was also approached by Fox Sports, but signed with ESPN instead. A career on television seems to run in the Acho family, as his brother Emmanuel currently works as an analyst for Fox Sports. 

Lee Fitting, ESPN's senior vice president of production, spoke about the addition of Acho in a statement. 

"(He's) a welcome addition," Fitting said. 

Acho's football intelligence and reputation have long been recognized by Longhorn Nation. Fitting and ESPN saw the TV potential as well. Now, he'll have a chance to showcase his talent to the rest of the country. 

“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.” 

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