Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted in the NFL, will be a contestant on ABC’s hit competition show "Dancing With the Stars." The announcement of the cast was made Tuesday on "Good Morning America."

Sam, who was drafted by the St. Louis Rams but was cut before the start of last season, will join another athlete, Olympic gold medal gymnast Nastia Liuken, on the show. Past winners of the dance program include football stars Hines Ward, Emmitt Smith and Donald Driver.

Sam said after the announcement that football remains his top priority. "Dancing With the Stars" is known to have a particularly grueling schedule in terms of physical demands and dedication of time, but Sam tweeted that the flexibility of the off-season will allow him to train and perform on the show.



The defensive end will be fighting to make a roster somewhere in the NFL, and will hope to get accepted into the first Veteran Free Agent Combine in March. Sam didn’t play in a regular season game last season. He was let go by the Rams during the final round of cuts after the preseason. He later joined the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad but was cut after seven weeks.

Sam was the co-winner of the SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 after registering 11½ sacks and 48 tackles for Missouri.