Marshall Football Player Succeeds in Spite of Speech Impediment

Zach Highlander, Student Reporter

Andre Sam, a Marshall senior who has shared his lifelong struggle with stuttering, has become an inspiration to many.

 Sam is a sixth year senior who plays safety for the Thundering Herd football team and has had a standout season so far. Sam played for McNeese State before transferring to Marshall.   

He first started stuttering at the age of six after his father died, followed by his grandfather shortly after. Sam has stuttered ever since, but he has since gained more confidence in his speaking.

In an interview with Dr. Jamie Maxwell, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Disorders at Marshall University, Sam told Maxwell, “Do not stop speaking like I once did.” 

 In an article published by, they state, “Stuttering is more common among males than females.” The male to female ratio is about 4-to-1. It’s estimated that about 1% of the world’s population stutters, though about 5% of children go through a period of stuttering. Three quarters of those who begin to stutter will recover by late childhood, leaving about 1% of the population with a long-term condition. 

“For someone to try to say what they really want to say, and they can’t say it, it’s hard,”Sam said. “For someone who doesn’t know, just take your time with them to make them feel that they can always remain themselves around you. That’s what I look for; I look for people who really want to talk to me, and they know that I stutter.”