NEW PODCAST: NFL Linebackers Sam and Emmanuel Acho


Sam and Emmanuel Acho are brothers who played together in college at the University of Texas and achieved their dream of making it to the NFL.

Sam was selected in the 4th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Cardinals and played in Arizona from 2011-2014 before signing with the Bears in 2015 and playing the last 2 seasons in Chicago.

Emmanuel was selected in the 6th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. His career spanned 4 seasons with stints in Cleveland, Philadelphia and the New York Giants. Emmanuel last played in the NFL with Philadelphia in 2015.

In this episode, the Acho brothers discuss their walk with Jesus, growing up as elite athletes, faith in the NFL locker room, and how to navigate the world of race through the lens of the gospel.

Sam (94) and Emmanuel Acho (51) – September 23, 2012, Glendale, Arizona — (Photo provided by Emmanuel Acho)



Podcast Timeline:

4:00 – Sam on becoming a Dad and how his brother is doing as an Uncle

6:20 – Growing up the sons of a Pastor

11:30 – On college life at the University of Texas

15:00 – Emmanuel’s decision to follow in his brother’s footsteps to Texas

18:00 – On the 2009 BCS National Champion runner-up team at Texas

20:20 – Sam’s story of being drafted into the NFL and whether the money or fame would change him.

24:00 – On living out your faith in the NFL locker room

27:30 – Being a believer and talking about faith and race

31:00 – What is God teaching you right now?

34:30 – Sam’s chance meeting with rapper Propaganda

Favorite Quotes:

“It set a foundation for what my life is built upon and predicated on.” – Emmanuel on growing up the son of a ‘PK’ (Pastor’s Kid)

“That relationship for us got tighter when he was still in high school and I was in college. It was the first time we were separated in our lives and yet we grew closer.” – Sam

“I wish I could go back and do it over again. I didn’t appreciate it enough.” – Emmanuel on the 2009 Texas season and reaching the BCS National Championship Team

“As a kid, Saturdays all day, I’m awaking up and I’m putting it on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I’m watching cartoons all day. My brother watched highlights of the NFL all day.” – Sam on dreaming to make the NFL

“I had the cheat codes to the test because my brother did everything the year before I had to do it.” – Emmanuel on getting drafted into the NFL

“I saw God open up so many doors for me to even get there because quite frankly, I was scared.” – Sam on reaching the NFL

“The cool part about being in an NFL locker room is that people get to see your lives, day in and day out. There’s no hiding or pretending. You can’t fake it.” – Sam on being a Christian in the NFL Locker Room

“If you just have confidence about what you are doing, people will be respected and attracted to it. If you have boldness, people will respect you for it.” – Emmanuel on living out your faith

“Everybody is so sensitive in this day and age and you have to tread so, so lightly with your words. You can say something that is biblically truthful, yet still is politically incorrect.” – Emmanuel

“I never want to just be a guy that posts a tweet and thinks that is action. We’re called to be the hands of feet. As a Christian, I’m called to speak up for those that can’t speak up for themselves. That’s my job.” – Sam

“As a believer in Christ, I know I’m supposed to take a stand, and say something, but the same stand I take, can get me fired. It’s tough to navigate, but nonetheless, you know the truth and you can’t shy away from it.” – Emmanuel

“When I obey God, I don’t have to try. He’ll just open up the doors and I’ll just walk through them.” – Sam

Get in touch with Sam and Emmanuel on Twitter:

Sam: @TheSamAcho Emmanuel: @TheManAcho