Hurd with the Bears in 2011
|No. 17, 81|
|Date of birth:||April 24, 1985|
|Place of birth:||San Antonio, Texas|
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||200 lb (91 kg)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Samuel George Hurd, III (born April 24, 1985) is a former American football wide receiver who played in the National Football League for six seasons. He played college football at Northern Illinois University, and, though undrafted, was signed after graduation by the Dallas Cowboys in 2006. He played for the Cowboys from 2006–2010, before joining the Chicago Bears in 2011. He was released by the Bears in December 2011, after he was arrested on federal drug charges. On November 13, 2013, Hurd was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Hurd attended Brackenridge High School in San Antonio, Texas, where he was an all-state receiver, catching 20 touchdowns in his senior year.
At Northern Illinois University, he teamed with P. J. Fleck, Shatone Powers, and Dan Sheldon to form one of the best wide receiver groups in the MAC. He helped NIU to a victory in the 2004 Silicon Valley Football Classic in a game that was delayed nearly 40 minutes due to a power outage.
A strong running offense limited his receiving stats until his senior year, when he registered 65 receptions, 1,074 yards and 13 touchdowns (second best in school history). He also had the best receiving game in school history with 266 yards against Central Michigan University.
He finished his college career with 143 receptions (tied for sixth in school history), 2,323 yards (second in school history), and 21 receiving touchdowns (third in school history).
Hurd was signed by the Dallas Cowboys in 2006 as an undrafted free agent. That season against the Houston Texans, he recorded his first NFL reception on Tony Romo's first NFL pass (33 yards). Four weeks later, he got his first start against the Arizona Cardinals, recording four catches for 42 yards and also caught a touchdown pass that was negated due to offensive pass interference against Patrick Crayton. He ended the 2006 season with five catches for 75 yards and collected 11 tackles, while also forcing and recovering two fumbles, while playing on special teams.
In 2008 after the release of Terry Glenn, he was given the opportunity to start opposite to Terrell Owens, but suffered a high left-ankle sprain in preseason that caused him to miss the first three games of the season. He returned to play in three games, before reinjuring his ankle and being placed on the injured reserve list following surgery.
During his time with the Cowboys he had some great training camp performances, but he never developed as a consistent wide receiver. His contributions came mainly as a key special teams performer, earning NFC Special Teams Player of the Week in 2006 as a rookie.
The Bears named him their special teams captain, but cut him from the team on December 16, following his arrest on drug-related charges.
Beginning in 2007, Hurd started co-hosting Inside the Huddle, a one-hour player commentary show that aired live on 105.3 FM radio in Dallas, as well as a 30-minute television show on Time Warner Cable's ESPN2 and Video on Demand service. In 2007, the show was co-hosted by quarterback Tony Romo, but in 2008, Hurd teamed up with wide receiver Terrell Owens for the show that aired on Tuesday nights on KLLI from the House of Blues in Dallas. Hurd ran a program called "Running with the Hurd", which is aimed at helping underprivileged young children.
On December 14, 2011, Hurd was arrested in Chicago for allegedly attempting to purchase and distribute large quantities of cocaine and marijuana, and faced federal drug charges in the Dallas Division of the Northern District of Texas. The case was investigated by the ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement). The investigation started in July 2011, during the NFL lockout, and while Hurd was a member of the Cowboys. The complaint alleged Hurd had negotiated to pay $25,000 per kilogram of cocaine, and another $450 per pound of marijuana. Police believed Hurd was connected to a group of dealers arrested in California in August 2011, because a phone number traced to Hurd was found in the caller ID of one of the dealers. On January 24, after finding a new attorney, Hurd entered a plea of not guilty for setting up a drug-dealing network.
On August 9, 2012, Hurd was arrested again for violating his bond by failing two drug tests. The report stated Hurd failed his first drug test in May and a second on July 12, testing positive for marijuana and admitting to drug use both times. His attorney, Jay Ethington, said Hurd was going through a difficult time and succumbed to pressure, according to the report. A federal judge later ordered Hurd to be jailed indefinitely. On April 10, 2013, Hurd announced he would change his plea to guilty the following day. He faced a sentence of 10 years to life.
- "Bears to acquire Sam Hurd" ESPN Chicago, 28 July 2011.
- "Chicago's Sam Hurd cut from team after drug arrest, GM says"CNN, 16 December 2011.
- "Chicago Bears' Sam Hurd arrested on drug charges - ESPN Chicago". Espn.go.com. 2011-12-16. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
- Gorner, Jeremy; McClure, Vaughn (December 15, 2011). "Bears receiver Hurd arrested on drug charges.". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
- Kavner, Rowan (August 9, 2012). "Notes: Hurd Arrested Again For Failing Tests, Spears Returns". Dallas Cowboys official site. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- "Former NFL WR Sam Hurd ordered jail in drug case". Associated Press. 2012-08-28. Retrieved 2013-11-23.
- "Sam Hurd: Sam Hurd will plead guilty, is a marijuana freak, his lawyer says". chicagotribune.com. 2013-04-10. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
- "3. Sam Hurd's Drug Run — The 25 Dumbest Athlete Purchases of All Time". Complex. 2013-04-08. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
- Hopkins, Jared S. "Former Bears receiver Hurd gets 15-year prison sentence". Chicago Tribune.
- "Find an inmate". Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
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