Sam Acho named first-team 2010 ESPN Academic All-America
Nov. 23, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas senior DE Sam Acho has been named to the 2010 ESPN Academic All-America First Team, the College Sports Information Directors of America announced.
With his selection in 2009, Acho becomes the seventh Longhorn to be a two-time first-team Academic All-American. It is also the fifth first-team selection for Texas in the past four years, including C Dallas Griffin and DT Derek Lokey in 2007 and OT Adam Ulatoski in 2009.
This season, Acho has already been named as an Allstate AFCA Good Works Team member, a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete and a finalist for the Campbell Trophy, Lowe's Senior CLASS Award and ARA Sportsmanship Award. He is also a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award, Lombardi Award and Lott Trophy, which he was a semifinalist for in 2009. Acho also earned a spot on the prestigious 2010 Preseason Playboy All-America team, was preseason first-team All-Big 12 and is on the watch lists for the Nagurski Trophy, Hendricks Award and Outland Trophy.
An honors business major in the prestigious McCombs School of Business, Acho maintains a 3.55 GPA. He is a two-year member of UT's Student-Athlete Advisory Council and was the choice as UT's representative at the 2009 NCAA Leadership Conference in May in which one student-athlete from each NCAA school attends. He is the student-athlete representative of the Big 12 on the NCAA Football Issues Committee, and is one of UT's representatives at the Big 12's Conference on Black Student Government. In addition, he has attended the Minority Mentorship Symposium in Austin, which features high-profile leaders, executives and stars from the business, entertainment and music industries speaking on topics that focus on success.
Acho has earned CoSIDA Academic All-District 6 honors in each of the last three years and is a three-time first-team Academic All-Big 12 selection and six-time UT Athletics Director's Honor Roll member. The past two years, he has been honored with the Arthur Ashe, Jr., Sports Scholarship Award, which is a national award that recognizes minority student-athletes who are committed to both education and athletics. Last year he completed an internship at Target where he had a marketing idea advance to the level of the CEO. In April 2010, Acho was inducted into UT's Friar Society, which is the oldest and most prestigious honor society at The University of Texas and recognizes students who have made significant contributions to The University.
Acho has seen action in 49 career games (25 starts) and tallied 147 tackles, 23.5 sacks (No. 10 on UT's career list), 37 TFL, 42 pressures, eight PBD, eight forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries (No. 4 on UT's career list).
Through 11 games in 2010, he has recorded 58 tackles, 17 TFL, nine sacks, 16 pressures, five forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. His four fumble recoveries are tied for the lead nationally this season and are tied for third on the UT single-season list. His five forced fumbles are tied for second nationally and tied for seventh on the UT single-season list.
In 2009, Acho notched 63 tackles, 10 sacks, 14 TFL, 15 pressures, three PBD, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. The four fumble recoveries were tied for the most nationally and tied for third on UT's single-season list.
Acho and his family have made several medical mission trips to his parents' native country of Nigeria, including this past summer. He helped organize a fundraiser in Dallas prior to the 2009 and 2010 trips. Then he, his brother Emmanuel and several teammates traveled to assist his father and approximately 40 doctors by providing medical treatment to Nigerians who may only have access to a doctor once a year. The family hopes to build a permanent clinic in the area soon.
Among his individual community efforts, he has mentored 3rd and 4th graders at O'Henry Middle School, spoken at Austin area high schools, taken the lead in organizing team donations to UT's Orange Santa program which provides Christmas gifts for the needy, participated in the Texas Round-Up teaching children the benefits of physical activity and health, volunteered at The Children's Courtyard where he interacted with children and encouraged them to stay in school and spent time at the Jubilee Community Center helping teach adults English as a second language. In July, he helped build a home in Dallas through Habitat for Humanity.
He is also highly involved in the team's community service program and is a regular visitor to the Dell Children's Medical Center, and has participated in visits by Wonders and Worries (children with life-threatening illnesses), the Rise School and the Arc of the Capital Area (children in early education with disabilities).