Michael Sam, openly gay Mizzou football player, looks to draft - KCTV5

Michael Sam, openly gay Mizzou football player, looks to NFL draft

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COLUMBIA, MO (KCTV) -

The Missouri football player who won the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for his courage and honesty about his sexuality is getting ready for draft day.

If he's drafted, Michael Sam could be the first openly gay NFL athlete.

If the former University of Missouri Tiger does get drafted, he's expected to go in the mid-to-late rounds.

Sam went public about his sexuality in February. He told his Mizzou teammates long before that.

KCTV5's Brad Fanning had a front row seat when he addressed the media at the NFL combine in Indianapolis.

"It is what it is and I just wish you guys will see me as Michael Sam the football player instead of Michael Sam the gay football player," he said.

Sam was the Defensive Player of the Year in the SEC, the best college football conference in America.

"Measure him by what he can do in the field. Period. After that we don't worry about anything else," said Chiefs Hall of Famer Will Shields about Sam.

When asked if he feels like a trailblazer, Sam replied that he feels like Michael Sam and nothing more or less than that.

Sam is a defensive end, he stands 6‘2" and weighs 256 pounds. Fanning believes he will get drafted, but it'll be late in the draft. He said Sam is a little small to be a defensive lineman and not quite quick enough to play linebacker, so he falls somewhere in between the two.

Fanning also said there will have to be a team that is willing to deal with the media circus surrounding Sam right out of the gate, a frenzy that will eventually die down.

The first round of the NFL Draft is Thursday and the final six rounds are Friday and Saturday.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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