Sports Now

Michael Sam to balance 'Dancing With the Stars' and NFL veteran combine

Michael Sam has been invited to the NFL's veteran scouting combine

Michael Sam was set to lace up his dancing shoes for ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," but he'll have to set them aside for a few days in March to participate in the NFL's first-ever veteran scouting combine.

Sam was invited to the combine Friday, according to multiple reports.

"Football remains my unquestioned number one priority, however, while I continue to train and stay ready," Sam tweeted Tuesday after he was announced as a contestant on the ABC show earlier this week. "... Filming this offseason is very flexible and allows me to be part of the veterans combine 3/22 if accepted or any other workouts."

Sam, 25, became the first openly gay player to be drafted last year when the St. Louis Rams selected him out of Missouri with the 249th overall pick in the seventh round.

The former Southeastern Conference co-defensive player of the year, however, failed to catch on as many late-round picks often do. 

The defensive end came out publicly following his senior season with the Tigers, though he had revealed his sexual orientation to his teammates before the start of their 2013 campaign.

With the Rams, Sam collected three sacks with 11 tackles in four pre-season games with St. Louis before he was released in August. He later spent time with the Dallas Cowboys as a member of their practice squad, though he was also cut again.

"Through all the ups and downs, though, I’ve remained focused on getting back on an NFL roster," Sam wrote in a first-person account about his experiences coming out as an athlete for Sport's Illustrated's MMQB. "It’s why I get up early every morning and push myself at the gym, and why I’m looking to participate in the first-ever NFL veterans combine this winter."

Twitter: @mattwilhalme

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
85°