Recruiting update: Punter Mike Sadler

Northwestern missed out on big-time special teams prospect Michael Palardy, who committed yesterday to Tennessee. But Purple Reign talked with another special special-teamer considering Northwestern: The No. 2 punter in the nation, Mike Sadler of Grand Rapids. With offers from LSU, Alabama and a handful of others, see what Sadler had to say about NU.

Purple Reign recently talked with Grand Rapids, Mich., punter Mike Sadler, who has picked up five more offers to go with his first one -- from Northwestern back in May.

While Northwestern may not have the brand name of LSU or Alabama -- which have each offered -- Sadler hasn't forgotten that NU was interested in his services before any others came knocking with offers, including the most recent, Michigan State.

"It is nice that (Northwestern) noticed me early and it was good to know that they want you and they're willing to go out and recruit you a little earlier than other prospects," he said.

The 6-1, 185-pound Sadler has been to Northwestern's campus and met with NU's coaches. It sounds like the trip did nothing to dissuade him from donning purple and black.

"It was really nice down there," he said of a visit to Evanston. "The campus is beautiful. I loved the coaching staff, they're very personable. Coach Fitz is awesome, and you can't get a much better balance of academics and athletics."

That academics came up is no surprise. After all, Northwestern is perennially among FBS leaders in graduation rate and makes a habit of recruiting stellar students. But coming from Sadler, it's certainly not just lip service. He boasts a 4.1 GPA and scored a hefty 32 on his ACT.

"Yeah, absolutely football is just a tool to get you into a school that you might not be able to get into otherwise," Sadler said. "Academics is just as big as the football aspect. They're very important to me, probably more so than other prospects."

In addition to working out and continuing to hone his craft, Sadler talked about his summer itinerary.

"During the summer I've been going around to all the colleges that have offered," he said. "Now it's starting to wind down a little bit, doing some national camps and competitions. A lot of the recruiting aspects are done, so I'm just trying to sort out my options."

As for a timetable on his decision…

"There's no set date," he said. "Obviously I don't want to rush anything because this is one of the bigger decisions of my life so far.

"I'm just going to sit down with my parents, go over the pros and cons of each of the schools, and hopefully make a good decision."

One thing that doesn't sound like it will be a factor is possibly competition for playing time. While Sadler answered questions in a measured, thoughtful manner, he's still a big-time football player. Some swagger comes with the territory.

"Obviously you don't want to be put in a bad position where you won't get on the field for a long time. But I'm pretty confident in myself. I feel like I have a shot at playing regardless of where I go."

Just where that is remains to be seen.

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