Sam Acho

ESPN has a new college football voice in Sam Acho, a former Texas Longhorns’ and NFL linebacker. As Brian Davis of The Austin American-Statesman wrote Wednesday, Acho has joined the Worldwide Leader on a multi-year deal, and will appear there across several platforms.

The Texas ex and nine-year NFL pro has signed a sweeping, multi-year deal with ESPN. Acho will be a lead college football analyst on ESPN2, according to the network, in addition to doing NFL commentary and calling games on ESPN radio. A little Acho here, there, everywhere.

“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.”

Acho’s first ESPN assignment will be working Big 12 media days next week in Arlington. The network plans to keep him pretty busy afterward. That’s assuming he doesn’t work himself into oblivion first.

ESPN later confirmed this with a release, which has some further details on Acho’s upcoming roles:

Former University of Texas and NFL linebacker Sam Acho has signed a multi-year deal to join ESPN’s comprehensive college football coverage, primarily serving as a lead studio voice on college football Saturdays on ESPN2. Acho will also call select college football matchups this fall.

“Sam is a welcome addition to ESPN,” said Lee Fitting, ESPN senior vice president of production. “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.”

In addition to his college football duties, which include regular appearances on SportsCenter, Get Up and College Football Live, the Lifetime Longhorn will contribute as an NFL analyst across ESPN studio programming.

“I’m beyond excited to be joining the talented team at ESPN,” Acho said. “You always want to be associated with the best, and the people at ESPN are just that. I’ll be breaking down college football and the NFL, and having a ton of fun along the way. Looking forward to the journey ahead and can’t wait to get started.”

Acho played defensive end at Texas from 2007-2010, winning team MVP honors and the NCAA-wide William V. Campbell Trophy (top NCAA football scholar-athlete) and Wuerffel Trophy (outstanding community service) in his senior year. He then was chosen in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL draft by the Arizona Cardinals, and played there (as a linebacker) from 2011-14, then played for the Chicago Bears (2015-18). He then spent offseason time with the Buffalo Bills in 2019 before joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in November 2019. His brother is Emmanuel Acho, the current Fox Sports analyst.


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.