Sam Acho, former William V. Campbell trophy recipient, inducted into Texas Athletics Hall of Honor

Tori Garcia, Sports Reporter

Nine-year NFL veteran and former football standout Sam Acho was inducted into the Texas Athletics Hall of Honor on Friday, one of the most cherished traditions in Longhorns athletics. 

Acho was one of 11 individuals inducted for their long-lasting and distinct contributions to Texas Athletics.

“I couldn’t be more honored to be getting inducted into the (Texas Athletics) Hall of Honor,” Acho said on Twitter July 20. “I genuinely didn’t believe it was real. Going to Texas was a game changer for me. … I never expected to arrive here, and I guess I’m still on that journey. So I thank everyone who’s been a part of mine and who has let me be a part of theirs.”

Chris Del Conte, vice president and Texas athletics director, personally gave Acho a call to break the news in July.

“I was shocked if I’m being totally honest,” Acho told Horn FM. “My response was, ‘Is this a joke?’ … I thought he was joking.”

Academically and on the field, Acho was an All-American at Texas. The former defensive end played for the Longhorns from 2007-10. He earned his most notable awards, the William V. Campbell Trophy and the Wuerffel Trophy, during his senior year on the Forty Acres.

The Campbell Trophy recognized him not only for his football performance, but also for his academic success and exemplified leadership off the field. Acho earned the Wuerffel Trophy for his community service and academic achievement.

During his senior year, Acho recorded an impressive 59 tackles – including 17 for loss – along with nine sacks, 17 quarterback hurries, five forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.

With a 3.55 GPA, Acho still made time for both football and community service. In addition to local volunteering, Acho and his family made several mission trips to Nigeria to provide free medical care to villages with limited access to doctors.

Speaking to the crowd at the induction ceremony Friday, Acho said his parents were born and raised in Nigeria and immigrated to America in hopes of building a life for their eventual children. Acho thanked his parents for their support and the values that they instilled in him.

“For them it was all about doing the little things well for us,” Acho said. “I follow that example right now. … When you do the little things, you don’t realize that there are people behind you watching.”

In 2011, Acho was drafted as a fourth round NFL Draft pick by the Arizona Cardinals. He played nine years at the professional level for the Cardinals, Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a brief stint on the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad. Starting in 57 of his 110 games during his NFL career, he totaled 241 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and 18 sacks.  

After his NFL retirement, Acho joined ESPN as an NFL and college football analyst where he continues working today.

During his speech, Acho also touched on his growth from his freshman year on campus, being roughed up in practices and just not being that good, to playing as a standout senior and even beyond throughout the rest of his life.   

“The biggest lesson for me to the athletes that are in here or even people who are trying to figure out life, marriage, kids or sport, is that hope is possible,” Acho said. “Change is possible.”