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Michael Sam Drafted by St. Louis Rams, Becomes First Openly-Gay Player Picked by NFL Team

Missouri's All-American defensive end Michael Sam acknowledges fans during the Cotton Bowl trophy presentation at halftime of an NCAA college basketball game between Missouri and Tennessee, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Columbia, Mo. Sam came out to the entire country Sunday, Feb. 9, and could become the first openly gay player in the NFL. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson) AP Photo/L.G. Patterson

Story by the Associated Press; curated by Oliver Darcy.

NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Sam has been picked by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the NFL draft, becoming the first openly gay player drafted by a pro football team.

Missouri defensive end Michael Sam speaks during a news conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Sam came out to the entire country Feb. 9, and could become the first openly gay player in the NFL. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh Missouri defensive end Michael Sam speaks during a news conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Sam came out to the entire country Feb. 9, and could become the first openly gay player in the NFL. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Sam played at Missouri, and came out as gay in media interviews earlier this year. His team and coaches knew his secret and kept it for his final college season.

He went on to have the best year of his career: He was the Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year.

The 6-foot-2, 255-pound Sam was considered a mid-to-late round pick, far from a sure thing to be drafted. He played defensive end in college, but he's short for that position in the NFL and slower than most outside linebackers, the position he'll need to transition to at the professional level.

One last thing…
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