COLUMBIA, Mo. Custom Texas Rangers Nike Jerseys . -- Michael Sam was just another recruit when he left his small Texas hometown and arrived in Missouri. Playing for the Tigers, he turned into a private loquacious leader ready to make a trailblazing announcement. The defensive star wants to become the first openly gay NFL player. "I told him: This is going to be mammoth," coach Gary Pinkel said Monday, a day after Sam came out to the world. "I dont have a word, OK, for how big this is going to be." Its a bigger deal for the older generation. Sams teammates and acquaintances easily made the adjustment, plus he proved himself on the field. "Hes a leader," former 49ers great running back Roger Craig said. "I would definitely welcome him on my team. Id play with him any day. I like people who stand up for themselves." Sam revealed he was gay at one of the football teams get-acquainted dinners last summer hosted by Pinkel and assistant coaches. The next day, Pinkel said, Sam told the entire team. Realizing the enormity of the situation, Pinkel left the next move up to the senior who blossomed into one of the best defensive ends in the country -- and one surrounded by teammates who didnt worry one bit about sexual orientation or reveal his secret until he came out on Sunday. Athletes across the campus approve. "Love is love," basketball guard Jordan Clarkson said. "Thats their personal life." Pinkel, athletic director Mike Alden and other school officials applauded Sams courage Monday at Faurot Field. As a backdrop, the first two letters of Sams last name were etched in snow to join the giant "M" just beyond the north end zone. "Pretty cool," Pinkel said. Coaches and Sam agreed that making an announcement during the season might be a distraction. It was Sams call to skip all the weekly media days and postgame news conferences, too, the better to avoid the risk of the topic coming up. Sam broke his silence prior to the Cotton Bowl and the conversation stayed on football, just like he wanted. Sam was prompted to make his decision to come out after the Senior Bowl, where it became apparent the players sexual orientation was widely known. This meant a declaration just days before the NFL combine and shouldering the pressure that goes along with the historic declaration. "Its very clear that everybody in the NFL knew," said Howard Bragman, a consultant hired by Sams agent to help manage the announcement in the media. The NFL and many others, including the White House, publicly applauded Sams decision. President Barack Obamas spokesman, first lady Michelle Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden all called him a courageous and inspirational athlete. But now, after a few high-profile interviews, its back to silent Sam. The fifth level of the stadium was jammed with dozens of reporters for Mondays news conference but there was no sign of the star attraction. Bragman said Sam was travelling Monday to a camp at an undisclosed location where hell prepare for the combine. Though hes been a most reticent public speaker, Pinkel described Sam as a virtual chatterbox. "He drove me crazy a lot of times, he doesnt shut up sometimes," Pinkel said with a chuckle. "He talks and talks and talks. "You always know hes in with my secretary because I can hear him and I have to close the door -- I cant concentrate." Sam arrived at Missouri without fanfare. Rivals.com gave him just two stars when he was coming out of Hitchcock High School. He had 10 career starts before his breakout senior season. The All-America defensive end led the Southeastern Conference with 11 1/2 sacks and 19 tackles for loss. He was the co-SEC defensive player of the year. But Sam has been projected as a mid-level NFL draft pick, probably because hes a bit undersized at 6-foot-2 and 255 pounds and is likely headed for a transition to outside linebacker. Pinkel doesnt think the announcement will hurt Sams draft status. "Our team was able to move past it and work together," defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski said. "So why shouldnt a bunch of professional football players be able to do the same thing?" There have been a few NFL players who have come out after their playing days, including Kwame Harris and Dave Kopay. "There will be some adjustments that will have to be made, sure," Craig said. "I think it will be a learning curve for the whole league." Custom Authentic Baseball Jerseys .com) - The Los Angeles Dodgers made it official Tuesday and signed pitcher Brandon McCarthy to a four-year contract. Custom Los Angeles Dodgers Nike Jerseys . -- Thirty years ago, the Detroit Pistons beat the Denver Nuggets 186-184 in triple overtime, a game that remains the highest scoring in NBA history. https://www.custombaseballnikejerseys.com/ . PETERSBURG, Fla. CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Jim Boeheim had no concerns when No. 12 Virginia pounded the ball inside to Akil Mitchell and Mike Tobey in the first half against Syracuses zone. "That was fine. They had 27 points. We were fine with that," Boeheim said. What the Hall of Fame coach was worried about happened in the second half on Saturday, when Virginia started connecting from outside, making 7 of 11 3-point tries to hand the No. 4 Orange their third loss in four games, 75-56. Malcolm Brogdon did much of the damage, scoring 17 of his career-high 19 points after the intermission, and London Perrantes and Justin Anderson each hit a pair from behind the arc. Brogdon (12.4) and Harris (11.5) came into the game leading the Cavaliers in scoring, but were combined 1 for 8 with three points at halftime. They got untracked in the second half, finding openings in the Orange defence. "I just thought we allowed Brogdon to shoot and we started the game for the whole first half not allowing him to shoot," Boeheim said. The Orange also were hampered by the second-half absence of Jerami Grant, their leading rebounder and No. 3 scorer, who played 13 minutes in the first half before an aching back forced him to the bench. He did not score, missing three shots, and grabbed just one rebound. It all meant the Orange, in close games all year, couldnt stay in this one. "This is the first game all year that we have been out of the game," Boeheim said. Brogdon scored eight points during a decisive second-half run and Virginia won its 13th consecutive game and clinched the top seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. Mitchell added 12 points and nine rebounds and Tobey and Anderson scored 11 each for the Cavaliers (25-5, 16-1 ACC),, who won their only other outright ACC regular-season title 33 years ago -- 1980-81 -- when Ralph Sampson was a sophomore. Custom Philadelphia Phillies Nike Jerseys. The final buzzer brought hundreds streaming onto the court. Tyler Ennis and C.J. Fair scored 13 each for the Orange (26-3, 13-3). Syracuse allowed Virginia to shoot 50 per cent (27-54) while shooting just 35.7 per cent (20-56). Brogdon broke a 42-all tie with two free throws, and then hit a jumper from the foul line. After a turnover by the Orange, Perrantes hit a deep 3-pointer that gave the Cavaliers a 49-42 lead. Rakeem Christmas dunk after a Syracuse timeout quieted the crowd, but only for a minute because Anderson made a 3-pointer from the right side, Brogdon followed an Orange miss with a jumper and then followed another miss with a jumper. The lead was 56-45 with 5:15 remaining and fans sensed that the Cavaliers were in the process of putting the game away. Ennis, playing with four fouls, hit a pair of free throws to slow the run, but Joe Harris hit a free throw, and then followed a Syracuse miss with a 3-pointer, his first basket in nine tries, causing the crowd to erupt in appreciation for the four-year starter. Harris was removed with 38.9 seconds left to a deafening cheer at Jones Paul Jones Arena. Virginia had first-half runs on 9-0 and 8-2 in building a 22-15 lead, but a jumper by Fair and Ennis 3-pointer -- the first of the game -- with 5:14 left in the half sparked 13-2 burst for the Orange. Trevor Cooney, who had missed 22 of his last 27 3-point shots, and Richmond native Michael Gbinije then connected back-to-back from beyond the arc for Syracuse, and Christmas dunk made it 28-24. Justin Anderson hit a 3, Virginias first, with 47 seconds left and it was 28-27 at the half. ' ' '