Reports surfaced before the Sun Bowl, but redshirt junior linebacker Christian Sam announced he will not be returning to the Arizona State Sun Devils for his final year of eligibility.
Thank You .. Thank You SDN!! Next Chapter! #GLORYTOGOD pic.twitter.com/vYqA2wiTge— Christian C. Sam (@ShowinStatsSam) January 8, 2018
This comes after the linebacker did not practice heavily or play in ASU’s 52-31 bowl loss to the N.C. State Wolfpack.
Sam is the third Sun Devil to leave the program early for the draft, joining junior defensive lineman JoJo Wicker and redshirt junior offensive lineman Sam Jones.
The departure leaves another gaping hole in the linebacking corps, as a second starting slot has opened next to the one left by graduating senior DJ Calhoun. Expect redshirt sophomores Malik Lawal and Khaylan Thomas to play a large role in those spots.
After missing his junior season with injury, Sam returned stronger than ever, leading the Pac-12 with 127 tackles, coming in seventh in the country with 11.2 per game.
In his ASU career, Sam made 240 total tackles, recording seven sacks and intercepted three passes in 35 games.