NFL Draft: Cardinals Day 3 Wrap-Up

Sam Acho (US Presswire)

The Cardinals wrapped up day three of the 2011 NFL Draft while addressing some major areas of need.


From the Cardinals media relations department

The Cardinals wrapped up the final day of the 2011 NFL Draft by selecting OLB Sam Acho (Texas), FB Anthony Sherman (Connecticut), LB Quan Sturdivant (North Carolina), DT David Carter (UCLA) and WR DeMarco Sampson (San Diego State) in the final four rounds of the draft on Saturday.

Cardinals picks in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Rd. Overall Name Pos. College
1 5th Patrick Peterson CB LSU
2 38th Ryan Williams RB Virginia Tech
3 69th Rob Housler TE Florida Atlantic
4 103rd Sam Acho LB Texas
5 136th Anthony Sherman FB Connecticut
6a 171st Quan Sturdivant LB North Carolina
6b 184th David Carter DE UCLA
7 (comp) 249th DeMarco Sampson WR San Diego State

BACK TO DEFENSE IN ROUND FOUR

* After using their second and third round picks on the offensive side of the ball, the Cardinals went back to defense in round four, selecting Texas OLB Sam Acho (pronounced "AH-cho") with the 103rd overall pick. Acho was the third Longhorn player selected in the 2011 NFL Draft, joining CBs Aaron Williams (2nd round, 34th overall, Buffalo) and Curtis Brown (3rd round, 95th overall, Pittsburgh).

* Acho is the 22nd Longhorn player drafted by the Cardinals and the first since the team selected T Leonard Davis with the second overall pick in 2001. He is just the fourth University of Texas player drafted by the Cardinals since 1986.

* The selection of Acho marks the second consecutive season the Cardinals have used their fourth-round pick to take an OLB. In 2010, Arizona selected Wisconsin's O'Brien Schofield with the 130th overall selection.

* A defensive end in college, Acho appeared in 50 games (26 starts) for the Longhorns and recorded 137 tackles, 21.0 sacks, 32.5 tackles for loss, nine fumble recoveries, eight forced fumbles and 20 QB pressures.

* An outside LB in his first two seasons at Texas, Acho switched to defensive end and started the final 26 games of his career. Two starts came at DT during his senior season, when injuries depleted the depth on the defensive line.

* In preparation for a switch back to OLB in the NFL, Acho worked with his brother, Emmanuel, a LB and teammate with the Longhorns, in the offseason.

* All-American third-team selection as a senior after recording 58 tackles, 8.0 sacks, 15.5 tackles for a loss, five forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in 12 games.

* His parents, Sonni (family and marriage counselor) and Christie Acho (nurse), both born in Nigeria, founded the Living Hope Bible Fellowship Church. Every summer, Acho joins his father and brother on the church's medical missions to Nigeria.

* Middle name is Onyedikachi, which means `who is like unto God.'

* At St. Mark's (Dallas, TX) High School, was a three-time All-Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) selection in football and four-year member of the honor roll. Also lettered a four-year letterman in track and field and a three-year letterman in basketball.

MORE THAN JUST A FOOTBALL PLAYER

* For all his success on the field, Acho is even more accomplished off of it. He was perhaps the nation's most accomplished academic athletes in 2010. Below is a list of his accolades:

Academic Honors

* Earned a double bachelor's degree in business administration/marketing from Texas' McCombs School of Business Honors Program with a 3.601 GPA.

* Winner of the William V. Campbell Trophy, also known as the Academic Heisman, for "combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership."

* Winner of the Wuerffel Trophy, given for many of the same accomplishments as the Campbell Trophy.

* Became just the Longhorns seventh two-time ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American.

* Winner of the ARA Sportsmanship Award in major college football.

* In September of 2010, was named one of the Sporting News' "20 Smartest Athletes." Joined Georgia Tech center Sean Bedford and Alabama QB Greg McElroy as the only college athletes on the list.

* Seven-time member of UT's Athletic Director's Honor Roll.

* Inductee of UT's Friar Society, the oldest and most prestigious honor society at Texas.

* A 2009 and 2010 Arthur Ashe Award Recipient (national award for minority athletes).

* Member of the Spanish Honor Society, the Intercultural Club and the student government and is fluent in Spanish.

Community Involvement

* Member of the 2010 AFCA Good Works Team.

* Volunteers for special events at local homeless shelters.

* Participates in UT's Orange Santa program.

* Volunteered at the Jubilee Community Center helping teach adults English as a second language.

A FULLBACK IN THE FIFTH

* With their fifth round pick, the Cardinals chose Connecticut FB Anthony Sherman with the 136th overall selection. Sherman was the first Huskie player drafted in 2011 and the second FB, joining Stanford's Owen Marecic (Cleveland, 4th round, 124th overall).

* Sherman is the 26th Connecticut player ever selected in the NFL Draft. Between 1946 and 1994, UConn had just 14 players selected. Dating back to 2005, Sherman becomes the 12th player drafted by the school and seventh in the last three years. For the first time in school history, UConn has had at least one player taken in each of the last five NFL Drafts.

* Sherman is the first FB taken by the Cardinals in the draft since the team selected Dennis McKinley out of Mississippi St. in the sixth round (206th overall) in 1999. In that '99 draft, the Cards also selected FB Joel Makovicka out of Nebraska in the fourth round (116th overall). Between 1990 and 1999, the Cardinals selected six FBs in the NFL Draft.

* Sherman played his final collegiate game at University of Phoenix Stadium when Connecticut faced Oklahoma in the 2011 Fiesta Bowl.

* Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt pointed to Sherman's performance on special teams as one of the main reasons the team selected him. Sherman totaled 63 tackles, recovered two fumbles and forced a fumble on special teams while with the Huskies. He also added five kickoff returns for 63 yards. As a junior in 2009, Sherman totaled 24 special teams tackles, broke up the wedge block 21 times and also downed three punts inside the 20-yard line. "We feel like he was probably, if not the best, at least in the top two or three of all the college players we looked at as special teamers, and that's important," Whisenhunt said.

* In four seasons at UConn, Sherman appeared in 45 games (25 starts) and totaled 17 carries for 71 yards. A very good receiver out of the backfield, he also added 48 receptions for 477 yards and a TD. As a blocker, he compiled 219 knockdown blocks and 38 touchdown-resulting blocks.

* At UConn, Sherman blocked for 2010 Big East Offensive Player of the Year RB Jordan Todman, who rushed for 1,695 yards and 14 TDs on 334 carries last season, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Todman was selected by San Diego in the sixth round (183rd overall) in this draft.

* Prepped at North Attleboro (MA) High School where he was named the 2006 Gatorade Player of the Year in Massachusetts and was a first-team All-State LB. As a senior in '06, was named the team and league MVP when he led the Rocketeers to an 8-2 record, recording 100 tackles as a middle LB and 1,202 yards with 20 TDs as a RB.

* At North Attleboro, was a team captain in football, track and baseball, earning Sun Chronicle All-Star in all three sports. Sherman succeeded academically as well, earning All-Scholastic honors from both the Boston Globe and Boston Herald.

STURDIVANT JOINS RECORD TAR HEEL DRAFT CLASS

* With the first of their two sixth round picks, the Cardinals selected North Carolina LB Quan Sturdivant with the 171st overall selection. Sturdivant becomes the 14th Tar Heel player ever selected by the Cardinals in the draft and the first since the team picked WR Eric Blount in the eighth round (202nd overall) of the 1992 NFL Draft.

* Sturdivant was the eighth North Carolina player selected in the 2011 NFL Draft, establishing a record for the University. Prior to the 2011 draft, the highest number of Tar Heel players taken in a single draft was seven (1998, 1959, 1949). By draft's end, nine North Carolina players were selected in 2011.

North Carolina Players Selected in 2011 NFL Draft

Player Pos Rd Draft # Team
Robert Quinn DE 1 14th St. Louis
Bruce Carter OLB 2 40th Dallas
Marvin Austin DT 2 52nd NY Giants
Greg Little WR 2 59th Cleveland
Da'Norris Searcy S 4 100th Buffalo
Johnny White RB 5 133rd Buffalo
T.J. Yates QB 5 152nd Houston
Quan Sturdivant LB 6 171st Arizona
Ryan Taylor TE 7 218th Green Bay

* In four seasons at North Carolina, Sturdivant appeared in 45 games (38 starts) and totaled 300 tackles, 7.0 sacks, 27.5 tackles for a loss, four INTs, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles. He scored TDs on a 49-yard fumble return and a 32-yard INT return.

* Led the Tar Heels in tackles as both a sophomore (122) and junior (79) and in 2009 became the first North Carolina LB since Kivuusama Mays in 1997 to earn All-ACC first-team honors. He was also one of 16 finalists for the Butkus Award that season.

* Enrolled at North Carolina in January of 2007 after graduating high school early. He made the adjustment to LB after appearing mostly at QB and SS in high school, going to appear in 12 games (five starts) as a true freshman at UNC.

* Prepped at West Stanly (Durham, NC) High School where he earned Rocky River Conference Offensive Player of the Year as a senior QB. He was a three-time all-conference selection and two-time All-State pick.

CARDS TAKE ONE OF THE CARTER BROTHERS

* The Cardinals selected a defender with their second pick of the sixth round. Arizona selected UCLA DE David Carter with the 184th overall pick, making him the third UCLA player selected in the 2011 NFL Draft. He joins former teammates Akeem Ayers (Titans, 2nd round, 39th overall) and Rahim Moore (Broncos, 2nd round, 45th overall). Carter was drafted by the Cardinals despite not being invited to the 2011 NFL Combine.

* Carter was taken 22 picks after his younger brother, Fresno State OLB Chris Carter, was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Chris was taken by the Steelers near the end of the fifth round (162nd overall). The two brothers will meet during the 2011 season when the Cardinals host the Steelers on October 23rd. The brothers have met once previously, when the Bruins hosted Fresno State on 9/27/08 in a game the Bulldogs won 36-31.

* Appeared in 40 games (12 starts) for the Bruins and recorded 66 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 9.5 tackles for a loss and a forced fumble. Started all 12 games his senior season and recorded career highs with 41 tackles, 3.5 sacks and five tackles for a loss.

* Carter becomes the 12th UCLA player ever taken by the Cardinals and the first since the team selected LB Jamir Miller with the 10th overall pick in 1994.

* Including the selection of Carter, the first three UCLA draft picks in 2011 were all defenders. It marks the first time UCLA has had three defenders taken in the same draft since 2004, a draft class that included DB Matt Ware being selected by the Eagles in the third round (89th overall). Ware has spent the last five seasons as a safety for the Cardinals.

* Prepped at Henry J. Kaiser (Fontana, CA) High School where he was an all-league defensive end, totaling 69 tackles and 7.0 sacks in 13 games as a senior, when he also served as a team captain. Also lettered in track and field and was a member of the debate team.

SAMPSON IN THE SEVENTH

* With their seventh round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Cardinals selected San Diego State WR DeMarco Sampson with the 249th overall pick. Sampson became the second Aztec player drafted in 2011, joining fellow WR Vincent Brown, who was taken by the Chargers in the third round (82nd overall).

* Sampson becomes just the third Aztec player ever drafted by the Cardinals and first since the team selected TE Robert Awalt in third round (62nd overall) of the 1987 NFL Draft. Sampson and Awalt join DT Martin Imhof (1972, 4th round, 84th overall) as the only San Diego State players ever selected by the Cardinals.

* Sampson totaled 146 receptions for 2,242 yards and 18 TDs at SDSU. Over his final two seasons, he totaled 129 receptions for 2,071 yards and 16 TDs, including a senior campaign in which he posted career highs with 67 catches for 1,220 yards and eight TDs.

* Had the breakout game of his career at Colorado State in 2009, logging 15 catches for 257 yards and three TDs. His 15 receptions rank seventh in school history and marked the 10th-highest single-game total in the nation in '09. His 257 yards set a MWC record in a league game and marked third-best single-game total in the nation a year ago.

* Posted six games with at least 100 yards receiving in 2010 and three games with at least 150 yards. Totaled 179 yards on seven receptions in the season opener vs. Nicholls State and 175 yards on seven receptions at Wyoming.

* Granted a sixth season of eligibility after missing the 2006 and 2007 seasons due to a foot injury suffered in 2006 fall camp. Originally signed with the Aztecs in February of 2004 and enrolled in classes in January of '05. Went on to become one of just two true freshman to earn a letter in 2005.

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