"I really like the fact that Michael did it before the draft, because his attitude was, 'You know what? I know who I am. I know I can play great football and judge me on the merits,'" Obama said in an interview with TNT's Charles Barkley that aired prior to the NBA All-Star Game.
Obama tweeted his support immediately after Sam's announcement, and first lady Michelle Obama tweeted that Sam, a pass-rushing defensive end from the University of Missouri, is an "inspiration to all of us."
The combine begins this week with exclusive coverage on NFL Network and runs from Feb. 22 to 25.
Sam's schedule is as follows, with the media frenzy taking place Saturday:
» Friday, Feb. 21: Travel to Indianapolis, register, pre-exam and X-rays, orientation and team interviews
» Saturday, Feb. 22: Measurements, medical examinations, meet with the media, team interviews
» Sunday, Feb. 23: Psychological testing, bench press, team interviews
» Monday, Feb. 24: On-field workouts, depart Indianapolis.