Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 8/6/13
  On the fourth floor of Spartan Stadium sits Michigan State senior quarterback Andrew Maxwell. What’s brought Maxwell and dozens of his teammates and coaches here today is the team’s annual football media day, which took place on Monday, August 5. And on this day, Maxwell, the returning starter from a year ago, is surrounded by several members of the local media, as the starting quarterback of a Big Ten football team so often finds himself. Flooded by questions ranging from the teams’ offensive potential for the upcoming season to his standing in a much more intensifying quarterback battle with red shirt sophomore Connor Cook, it certainly is a busy 25-30 minutes for Maxwell However, just ten feet away from Maxwell, sits red shirt junior punter Mike Sadler. And in this particular moment in time (among many similar moments in time over the next 30 minutes), Sadler sits alone at his table, save for one recorder left behind by a member of the media. So Sadler, upon seeing the recorder, decides take it upon himself to do some interviewing. With a smirk on his face, Sadler leans in to the recorder and works his magic. “So Mike how are you doing today,” the recorder “asks” Sadler. “Oh recorder, I’m doing pretty well. It’s good to be here with a table full of media to interview me,” Sadler sarcastically says into the recorder. “I’m really excited about the year and I’m expecting good things.” As he’s doing this, a nearby photographer takes notice of what he’s doing and starts cracking up, while Sadler, an even bigger smile spread across his face now, sits back and laughs. “Somebody left that here, I don’t know” Sadler says, all the while letting out some more laughs. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Michigan State punter Mike Sadler. Part football player. Part comedian. Part genius. Sadler, the 6’0″, 192 lb red shirt junior from Grand Rapids, Michigan, is now entering his third season as the Spartan’s first string punter. Over the past two seasons, Sadler has booted the ball a total of 140 times for an average of 42.4 yards/punt and has pinned the opponent inside their own 20 yard line 56 times. Sadler punted the ball a whopping 70 times last season, including 11 times in the bowl win over TCU. There’s no question Sadler is a talented punter. Having been named to the preseason Ray Guy Award watch list, which is awarded to the nation’s top collegiate punter, Sadler may follow in the footsteps of former Michigan State punter Brandon Fields and make it to the NFL someday. However, it’s not so much what Sadler has done on the football field that is as impressive as what he has done in the classroom. Having graduated in just three years at Michigan State with a 3.98 GPA and a degree in engineering, Sadler will now enter graduate school and go after his Ph.D in economics. “You don’t play football unless you want to play in the NFL someday,” Sadler said. “Fortunately I have a strong back bone in academics so if football doesn’t work out, I think I’ll be okay. Economics is a pretty versatile degree. You can go into a lot of different fields with it so I’ll will just see what the future holds.” For many, keeping up such high grades in the classroom all the while fulfilling all the time commitments it takes to be a Division 1 athlete would be nearly impossible, but for Sadler, he says he’s learned a lot from the experience. “It definitely teaches you time management skills,” Sadler said. You can’t be a serious dude and play football and have a social life if you don’t know how to manage your time. I think that’s one thing it’s taught me real well, have a good balance with everything in my life.” And just as Sadler so eloquently displayed in his short interview with the recorder and himself, he’s certainly found some ground in being a laid back guy and cracking jokes. If you follow him on Twitter, his bio is short, simple and to the point. “I punt footballs and tell bad jokes,” it reads. And if you scroll through some of his tweets, you’ll find that he’s a fan of double fisting ice cream cones, riding his moped from Rather Hall to Brody Cafe (a 50 foot walk) but definitely not a fan of EA Sports. “Two tackles AND a late hit later and my tackling is still only a 48 on #NCAAFootball14 ?! Cmon @EASPORTS that is garbage,” a tweet from August 1st reads. “Between school and football, I think it’s important not to get too caught up in either of those,” Sadler said. “You have to keep it light and have some fun every once in a while and Twitter is kind of my outlet to do that. As long as you keep it clean and appropriate, it can be a real good tool.” In all seriousness though, Sadler, along with many of his teammates, are looking forward to this upcoming season, and are ready to bounce back after a tough 2012 campaign. “We have very high expectations this year,” Sadler said. “Coming off a disappointing year, everyone is real excited and hungry to get back out there and prove everyone wrong and get that bitter taste out of our mouth. We’re ready to go and excited to play Western.”   Follow Ryan Squanda on Twitter @squandaryan
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