Edward "Chip" Sarafin -- a 6-foot-6, 320 pound senior offensive lineman for the Arizona State University Sun Devils -- is likely the first player in major college football to come out as gay publicly.
The football player and excelling student came out to the gay sports magazine Compete, the Arizona State University’s athletic department confirmed on Wednesday.
"We are a brotherhood that is not defined by cultural and personal differences, but rather an individual's commitment to the Sun Devil Way," ASU coach Todd Graham said in a statement.
Chip is a fifth-year senior and a Scholar Baller, a graduate and a master's student. His commitment to service is unmatched and it is clear he is on his way to leading a successful life after his playing career, a goal that I have for every student-athlete. Diversity and acceptance are two of the pillars of our program, and he has full support from his teammates and the coaching staff.
The Compete article mostly focuses on Sarafin’s educational and career goals -- he majors in biomedical engineering and aspires to be a neurologist -- but concludes with him detailing that he came out to his teammates last spring.
"It was really personal for me, and it benefited my peace of mind greatly," he said in the magazine.
While several college football players have come out to their respective teams, Sarafin would be the first gay player to come out to public media while still attending school, according to Out Sports. Notably, St. Louis Rams defensive end Michael Sam, who is the first active NFL player to be publicly out, told his team at the University of Missouri prior to going professional, but did not come out publicly until after being drafted. Sam congratulated Sarafin on coming out via Twitter on Wednesday.
Congratulations Chip Sarafin for having the courage to be yourself. Wishing you and your teammates much success this season. #courage2014
â€” Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) August 13, 2014
Sarafin is a walk-on player, meaning he did not receive an athletic scholarship. He has not yet played in a game.