This time last summer, Mike Sadler had no clue what he would be up to for college. Punting in the NCAA, he said, seemed the furthest possibility.
“If someone had told me I would have the opportunity to play Division I football, I would have laughed at them,” Sadler said. “But, here I am with offers from all these big schools. It is surreal, for sure.”
His offer list includes LSU, Alabama, Northwestern, Purdue and Air Force. No in-state teams – at least not yet.
“I will be at Michigan and Michigan State over the next couple of days, so something might develop then,” Sadler said.
There is no denying that the Maize and Blue, whose lone punter is a graduating senior, will take a close look.
“Michigan has been on me for a while,” he said. “I see the opportunity to go right in and play, so it would definitely be tempting. Not to mention, it would be tough for anyone up here to turn down the chance to play in the Big House.”
Not so tough, he admits, given his other options – which include playing in Tiger Stadium.
“When I came down for a visit and saw Death Valley, I was just blown away,” he admitted. “Those are the kinds of moments that make you realize how tough of a choice it will really be.”
On that visit on June 6 for LSU's kicking camp, which was cut short in order to make it Tuscaloosa before his return to Grand Rapids, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound junior got some one-on-one time with fellow Midwest-native and Tiger head coach Les Miles.
“I loved his vibe,” Sadler said. “He was real laid back. I didn’t even know about him being a Michigan Man until we sat down, so that was interesting as well.
“He definitely did a great job selling the program, I know that.”
If the Wolverines do enter the picture, that sell will become a bit harder.
While he has noted the temptation to jump at an offer from head coach Rich Rodriguez, Sadler does not want to rush the decision.
“I would not take it on the spot or anything like that,” he said. “I would definitely wait it out to keep feeling out other schools, just to make sure logic is overpowering my emotions.”
Sadler, who averaged 38.6 yards per punt as a junior, said that he hopes to return to Baton Rouge before his decision is made.
He projects as a full academic qualifier with a 4.1 GPA and a 32 on the ACT.