the study of the kicking components within sports

Friday, April 10, 2015

Draft Preview: Mike Sadler

Among the punters eligible for this year's NFL draft, or signing as an undrafted free agent thereafter, is Michigan State's Mike Sadler. He ranks in the top ten in the majority of the various draft rankings.

Excerpts from Sadler's profile page on the Spartans' website:

2014 Senior Season
  • finished his career ranked among MSU's all-time leaders in punts (second with 268), punting yards (second with 11,307) and punting average (sixth at 42.2)
  • placed 39 percent of his career punts inside the 20 (104-of-268) and 21 percent inside the 10 (56-of-268) 
  • became the first Spartan in school history to earn Academic All-America honors four times
  • 2014: placed 29 percent (15-of-52) of his punts inside the 20 and eight percent inside the 10 (4-of-52) 
  • averaged a season-best 46.3 yards per punt (six punts for 278 yards), including a season-long 66-yarder and two inside the 20, at Maryland 
2013 Junior Season
  • Earned All-America honors from (first team), (first team) and Athlon Sports (second team)
  • Ray Guy Award semifinalist
  • placed 43 percent of his punts (33-of-76) inside the 20 and 32 percent inside the 10 (24-of-76)
  • led the NCAA FBS with 24 punts downed inside the 10 and ranked tied for second with 33 inside the 20 ... also had eight punts downed inside the 5, including three at the 1-yard line
  • averaged 45.5 yards per punt, including a 55-yarder, while also placing three of his six punts inside the 20 in the 100th Rose Bowl Game against No. 5 Stanford
  • pinned four of his seven punts inside the 10 in victory at Nebraska, including one that was fumbled at the 8-yard line and another that was downed at the 1; also gained 3 yards on a fake field goal that helped propel Michigan State to a touchdown scoring drive midway through the fourth quarter, giving MSU a 34-21 lead
  • named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week for the third time in his career and also named CFPA National Punter of the Week after averaging a career-best 59.2 yards on four punts in the win over Indiana, including a season-long 69-yarder in the fourth quarter; also placed one kick on the IU 4-yard line; his 59.2-yard average against the Hoosiers established a Big Ten single-game record (minimum four punts)
  • averaged 44.4 yards on five punts at Iowa, including two inside the 20 and a 51-yarder; also ran a fake punt 25 yards for a first down that helped set up Michael Geiger's 49-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter 
  • placed a career-high six punts inside the 20 in the season opener vs. Western Michigan and tied his career high with 11 punts (38.5 avg; 423 yards).
2012 Sophomore Season
  • First-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and second-team pick by the media . . . also a first-team All-Big Ten selection by, and Phil Steele
  • placed 39 percent of his punts inside the 20 (31-of-79) and 22 percent inside the 10 (17-of-79) . . . 
  • named to's Big Ten All-Bowl Team after setting MSU's single-game bowl records for punts (11) and punting yards (481) in the 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against TCU. . . the 481 punting yards established a career high and were the most by a Big Ten punter in a single-game in 2012, while the 11 punts tied for second most . . . three of his punts against the Horned Frogs were 50-plus yards, including his long of 55 yards that was fumbled by TCU punt returner Skye Dawson at the TCU 4-yard line and was recovered by Michigan State
  • named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week after averaging 46.6 yards on seven punts vs. No. 21 Nebraska, including three placed inside the 20 
  • averaged 41.4 yards on seven punts, including a season-high four placed inside the 20, at No. 23 Michigan; on fourth-and-9 from MSU's 23-yard line in the fourth quarter, Sadler ran a fake punt 26 yards for a Spartan first down
  • averaged 55.4 yards on five punts against No. 14 Ohio State, including a career-long 70-yarder in the second quarter; three of his five punts were downed inside the 20, including two inside the 10
2011 Freshman Season
  • Earned Freshman All-America honors by Phil Steele (third team) and (honorable mention) . . . named to, Yahoo! Sports and Big Ten All-Freshman Team 
  • placed 41 percent (25-of-61) of his punts inside the 20 . . . also pinned 11 punts inside the 10, which tied for eighth most in the nation
  • set season highs in punting average (50.1 yards per punt), punts (8) and punting yards (401) and placed four punts inside the 20 in Michigan State's win over No. 18 Georgia in the 2012 Outback Bowl; also had a season-long 57-yard punt against the Bulldogs
  • placed two of his three punts inside the 20 against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game, including one at the 1-yard line
  • named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in MSU's 31-24 victory over Minnesota; averaged just 35.0 yards on five punts against the Gophers, but four of his five punts were placed inside the Gopher 20-yard line; delivered two clutch punts in the final seven minutes, twice pinning Minnesota inside its own 10-yard line
High School
  • Ranked among the nation's top punters by (No. 3)... listed among the country's top kickers by Scouts, Inc. (No. 5) and (No. 7) 
  • named to SuperPrep's and PrepStar's All-Midwest Teams
  • two-year starter for Coach Jeff Rapelje at Forest Hills Northern High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan 
  • averaged 39.9 yards on 32 punts as a senior, including a season-long 61-yarder . . . placed 13 kicks inside the opponent's 20-yard line in 2009 
  • ranked second on the team in scoring as a senior with 33 points, hitting 27-of-29 extra-point and 2-of-4 field-goal attempts
  • converted a school-record 58-yard field goal vs. Belding 
  • averaged 63.0 yards on 33 kickoffs in 2009 

College Stats:
2014: 52 punts, 41.2 yard average, long of 66 yards
2013: 76 punts, 42.5 yard average, long of 69 yards
2012: 79 punts, 43.3 yard average, long of 70 yards
2011: 61 punts, 41.1 yard average, long of 57 yards

Back in the beginning of January, Sadler discussed his pro prospects:
“It’s tough to tell right now. I’ve heard from the fifth round to being picked up as a free agent. It will depend on my performance in the next few months....  I’m not sure if I'll get invite to the draft combine [he did not], but I’ll have the pro day here at MSU [March 18th]."

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