From the moment Michael Sam revealed that he was gay his experience as an NFL recruit was always going to be unique.
The seventh round pick for the St. Louis Rams has had near constant media attention since his name came off the board Sunday night with reporters keen to hear from the first openly gay player ever to be drafted into the National Football League.
That wasn't the original plan for Sam though.
In an interview with People magazine the former Missouri defensive end revealed that had he had it his own way he would not have revealed his sexuality to the public until after the draft process was complete:
"When I came out in February, it actually wasn't the time I wanted to come out.
"I was going to come out to my (pro) team - whoever drafted me."
While he was happy to tell his Missouri teammates as far back as the start of the 2013 season, Sam had his hand forced at the 2014 Pro Bowl when he realised just how many of the gathered media were aware of his sexuality:
"I was surprised how many people in the media knew. Everyone who did an interview with me said, 'Okay, we know you're gay, can we break the story?' So I said okay, and I called my agent.
"The rest is history," Sam concluded.
Inevitably Sam's NFL future will be viewed under increased scrutiny as he forges a trail-blazing path and it seems he has proved a popular figure so far.
According to recent data his Rams jersey has been the second highest selling amongst all NFL rookies since the draft.
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