Sam Sword

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Sam Sword
No. 93 (Michigan), 56 (Raiders), 98 (Colts)
Position: Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1974-12-09) December 9, 1974 (age 42)
Place of birth: Saginaw, Michigan
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 245 lb (111 kg)
Career information
High school: Arthur Hill (Saginaw, MI)
College: Michigan (19951998)
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 45
Games started: 8
Tackles: 66
Player stats at PFR

Sam Lee-Arthur Sword (born December 9, 1974) is a former American football player.

A native of Saginaw, Michigan, Sword played college football as a linebacker for the University of Michigan from 1995 to 1998. He was the leading tackler on the undefeated 1997 Michigan Wolverines football team that led the country in scoring defense and total defense and was ranked #1 in the final AP Poll. He led Michigan in tackles for three consecutive years, and his 265 solo tackles ranks third in school history.

Sword also played four seasons of professional football as a linebacker and on special teams in the National Football League (NFL) for the Oakland Raiders in 1999 and for the Indianapolis Colts from 2000 to 2002. He appeared in 45 NFL games, eight as a starter, and registered 66 tackles.

Early years[edit]

Sword was born in Saginaw, Michigan, in 1974. He attended Arthur Hill High School in Saginaw.[1] Sword played football, basketball and baseball at Arthur Hill. He played middle linebacker and tight end for the football team, led the 1993 team to a state championship, and received all-state honors. He was later inducted into the Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame.[2]

University of Michigan[edit]

Sword enrolled at the University of Michigan in 1994 and played college football for head coach Lloyd Carr's Michigan Wolverines football teams from 1995 to 1998.[3] After redshirting in 1994, he started four games at inside linebacker in 1995.[4]

As a sophomore in 1996, Sword started all 12 games at inside linebacker for Michigan.[5] He led the team with 108 tackles, including 72 solo tackles.[6]

As a junior, Sword started 11 games at inside linebacker for the undefeated 1997 Michigan Wolverines football team that outscored opponents 322–144, won the Big Ten Conference championship, defeated Washington State in the 1998 Rose Bowl, and was ranked #1 in the final AP Poll.[7] He had a career-high 13 solo tackles against Notre Dame and was the team's leading tackler (91 tackles, including 69 solo tackles)[6] on a 1997 squad that led the country in both scoring defense (8.9 points per game) and total defense (206.9 yards per game).[8] At the end of the season, he was selected by a Midwest media panel as a first-team linebacker on the 1997 All-Big Ten team.[9]

As a senior in 1998, Sword started 12 games and led the team with 127 tackles, including 93 solo tackles.[6][10] He was also selected as a second-team All-Big Ten player by both the conference coaches and media.[11] He became the second player in Michigan history to lead the team in tackles three consecutive years.[2] (Erick Anderson led the team in tackles four consecutive years from 1988 to 1991.)

In four years at Michigan, Sword started 39 games and totaled 370 tackles, including 265 solo tackles, five pass breakups, three fumble recoveries and one interception.[6] His 265 solo tackle ranks third in Michigan history behind Jarrett Irons (296) and Erick Anderson (286).[12] He was named the 1997 and 1998 winner of The Roger Zatkoff Award as the team's best linebacker.

Professional football[edit]

Sword was undrafted in the 1999 NFL Draft but signed as a free agent with the Oakland Raiders. He appeared in 10 games for the Raiders, five of them as a starter, during the 1999 season.[1] In 2000, Sword joined the Indianapolis Colts and remained with the club for three seasons. He appeared in all 16 regular season games in 2001 and 2002, principally as a special teams player, and started three games at linebacker.[1][2] In four NFL seasons, Sword appeared in 45 games, eight as a starter at linebacker, and recorded 66 tackles and two sacks.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Sam Sword NFL Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "Sam Sword". Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Michigan Football Roster Database". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  4. ^ "1995 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  5. ^ "1996 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Michigan Football Statistic Archive Query Page". University of Michigan. Retrieved April 13, 2015. (To retrieve Sword's statistics, enter "sword" in the box for the player's last name. To retrieve 1997 season leaders, go to "Games and Totals by Season" and enter 1997, and then enter Display Season Totals.)
  7. ^ "1997 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  8. ^ Dave Woolford (August 31, 1998). "The name, the frame, the game: Sam Sword has the whole package". Toledo Blade. p. FB-5. 
  9. ^ "College Football". Gettysburg Times. December 2, 1997. p. B2. 
  10. ^ "1998 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Jansen Highlights Michigan All-Big Ten Award Winners". University of Michigan. November 30, 1998. 
  12. ^ "Michigan Football Statistic Archive Query Page". University of Michigan. Retrieved April 13, 2015. (to retrieve a list of Michigan's all-time leaders in solo tackle, go to the "Individual Statistical Leaders" section and select the drop-downs for "Career", "Defense" and "Tackles")