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Bio box of Michael Sam

AP - Sports

Former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam on Saturday became the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team when he was picked by the St. Louis Rams at No. 249 overall out of 256.

NAME: Michael Alan Sam Jr.

AGE: 24. Born on Jan. 7, 1990 and raised in Hitchcock, Texas.

EDUCATION: Hitchcock (Texas) High School, 2009. Graduated with sports management degree from the University of Missouri in 2013.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year; All-American defensive end; led SEC in both tackles for loss (19.0) and quarterback sacks (11.5); recorded 48 tackles; forced fumble in final minute of Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma State to clinch Missouri's victory.

PARENTS: Michael and JoAnn.

HOBBIES: Singing. ''When he was a freshman, it was kind of annoying,'' defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski said. ''Like, 'Who's this guy?',,, He does bring the energy up. You can kind of know where he is in the building just by opening your ears.''

SILENT SAM: Sam limited his availability to media and shunned the spotlight during his senior season, though he told his teammates he was gay before games began.

QUOTABLE: ''You know what, who knows? Who knows? Only the people who sit in the war room know. They saw Michael Sam, day after day they scratched it off the board. That was their loss. But St. Louis kept me on that board. And you know what I feel like I'm a Clowney, a first draft pick. I'm proud of where I am now.'' - Sam on being asked if he was passed over by other teams because he is gay.

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