Confident Sam wishes focus could stay on football

Missouri defensive end Michael Sam speaks during a Missouri defensive end Michael Sam speaks during a news conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Photo Credit: AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Michael Sam says he wants to be known as just a football player, hopeful his sexuality soon won't be a story.

The defensive end from Missouri made his first public appearance Saturday since announcing he's gay. He said at the NFL scouting combine he's not worried about the way he'll be treated once he enters the league.

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Sam smiled and laughed often during a 12½-minute news conference at Lucas Oil Stadium, looking relaxed, jovial and confident. He even introduced himself before taking questions from the hundreds of reporters surrounding the podium, as if anyone needed a reminder of who he was.

Sam is projected as a mid-round pick in the draft in May. He says he doesn't care what position he plays, as long as he can rush the passer.

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