Nov. 8, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State junior punter Mike Sadler has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the Ray Guy Award, the Augusta Sports Council announced on Friday. The award honors the nation's top punter.
An All-America candidate, Sadler has been a valuable weapon on special teams for the Spartans, as he ranks second in the Big Ten and 25th in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in punting with his 42.8-yard average. He leads the FBS with 15 of his 47 punts (32 percent) downed inside the 10-yard line and ranks tied for second with 22 punts placed inside the 20 (47 percent). Sadler also has had six punts downed inside the 5, including two at the 1-yard line. In addition, he has 10 punts of 50-plus yards and opponents have collected just 82 punt return yards against the Spartans through nine games.
"Mike Sadler has helped make us a great defense with his precision placement of punts this fall," MSU assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi said. "Of his 17 punts placed at or inside the opponent's 10-yard line this season, our defense has come up with stops and forced punts 15 times. That gives our offense a short field to work with."
"Mike Sadler helps make Michigan State special teams a weapon," special teams coordinator Mike Tressel said. "He can pin opponents inside their own 10-yard line as consistently as I've ever seen. He also can drive the ball deep to flip field position when that's needed. More than stats can tell, Mike understands the game and will do whatever our team needs to win."
In MSU's last game, a 29-6 victory over Michigan, Sadler placed three of his five punts inside the 20, including two inside the 10. He dropped his only punt at Illinois, a 54-yarder, on the Illini 8-yard line, and placed three of his seven punts inside the 10 against Purdue.
He was named the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week for the third time in his career and also the College Football Performance Awards' 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.
Sadler downed four of his seven punts inside the 20 against South Florida, including a career-high four inside the 10 and three inside the 5. Overall against the Bulls, he totaled seven punts for 319 yards (45.6 average).
In the season opener against Western Michigan, Sadler placed a career-high six punts inside the 20 and tied his career high with 11 punts (38.5 avg.; 423 yards).
A native of Grand Rapids, Mich., Sadler is in his third season as Michigan State's starting punter. He owns a career average of 42.5 yards per punt, which ranks sixth in MSU history. He was a first-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches as a sophomore in 2012 after leading the conference and ranking 21st in the FBS, averaging 43.3 yards per punt.
Sadler is also in pursuit of his third Academic All-America honor. A two-time Academic All-America Second Team honoree, he was recently named to the College Sports Information Directors (CoSIDA) Academic All-District 5 First Team for the third time in his career, making him eligible for Academic All-America honors this season. Sadler, who graduated in May with a bachelor's degree in applied engineering sciences while maintaining a 3.97 grade-point average, is currently pursuing his Ph.D in economics.
No. 18 Michigan State (8-1, 5-0 Big Ten) returns to action Saturday, Nov. 16 to face Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb., at Memorial Stadium (time TBA).
ABOUT THE RAY GUY AWARD
The Augusta Sports Council created the Ray Guy Award in 2000 to honor Thomson, Ga., native and College Football Hall of Fame inductee, Ray Guy. The Ray Guy Award winner is determined by a national voting body of sports writers, college coaches, sports information directors, and past Ray Guy Award winners. The winner must display team leadership, self-discipline, and have a positive impact on the team's success. Learn more about the Ray Guy Award at www.RayGuyAward.com.
The 85 candidates for the 2013 award were evaluated on their overall statistics and contribution to the team. Particular emphasis was placed on the punter's net average, percentage of total punts inside the 20-yard line and percentage of punts not returned. A national voting body of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) coaches, sports information directors, national media and former Ray Guy Award winners will decide the three award finalists, who will be announced on Nov. 25. Voters will then cast a second round of ballots to decide the winner.
The Augusta Sports Council presents the Ray Guy Award, given to the collegiate punter of the year at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN in Orlando, Fla. The Ray Guy Award Preseason Watch List was announced on July 10 and the full candidate list was announced Oct. 25.
The Ray Guy Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21 awards boast 678 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more about our story.
ABOUT THE AUGUSTA SPORTS COUNCIL
The Augusta Sports Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to marketing the Augusta area as a destination for amateur sporting events. The ASC attracts, creates and supports dozens of sporting events and activities each year, generating a positive economic impact and enhancing the quality of life for residents of the greater Augusta community. To learn more, visit www.augustasportscouncil.org.
2013 Ray Guy Award Semifinalists
Steven Clark (Sr.) - Auburn
Tom Hornsey (Sr.) - Memphis
Cameron Johnson (Fr.) - Ohio State
Richie Leone (Sr.) - Houston
Cody Mandell (Sr.) - Alabama
Michael Palardy (Sr.) - Tennessee
Mike Sadler (Jr.) - Michigan State
Will Scott (Sr.) - Troy
Cody Webster (Sr.) - Purdue