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Michael Sam had a player who sat out all year drafted ahead of him

It is not that often you hear of a player getting drafted after he sat out the entire year and did not play in one game, but this year it happened.  This is a year of change in the NFL though.  This year also featured the first openly gay player in Michael Sam. Well last week at the draft, Sam was drafted 14 spots after Shelby Harris the former Illinois State player who sat out the entire season. 

Harris, 6-2, 288 pounds, began his career at Wisconsin before transferring to Illinois State after sitting out his first season as a redshirt. He had 14 sacks in 33 career games but was suspended for an unspecified violation of team rules and later dismissed from the team by coach Brock Spack. In 2012, Harris started 13 games and was an all-Missouri Valley Football Conference, recording 85 tackles, seven sacks and 16 tackles for losses.

Harris was waiting tables at a high end Italian restaurant the entire year, and will probably come with quite a bit of rust.  it is crazy to think that a player who sat out of college football and played a a very lower level of football was selected over the SEC co-defenvise player of the year.  

I understand that Michael Sam might not be the biggest player, but how was he passed on?  I am telling you the only reason teams past on Michael Sam was the fact that he was openly gay.  There is no way to prove it, but I am willing to be if Michael would have remained quiet and then came out after the draft, he would have been drafted a lot higher.  


NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at

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