A Scholar Among Us

mike sadlerWell, this is one that doesn’t happen all too often. An NCAA football player is faced with a seemingly impossible choice- NFL football or Rhodes Scholarship? In a stereotype-defying turn of events, the smartest player on Michigan State University’s football team is also one with a bright future in football. So when it comes to a career on Wall Street vs. a career on the field, what’s a 21 year old to do?

That decision is the one facing Mike Sadler right now, as he embarks on a quest for a PhD in economics while simultaneously considering his punting prospects in the NFL. Sadler graduated in 3 years from MSU with a degree in applied engineering sciences, while maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Meanwhile, he also kept up with the rigorous training schedule of a starting football player, and averaged a league-leading 43.3 yards per punt and placed 40% of punts within the opposing 20 over the last 2 seasons.

So what’s next for Sadler? He is starting his 4 to 5 year PhD program in the fall, and applying for the prestigious Rhodes and Marshall scholarships with the full weight of the Spartan football program to support him. Jim Pittignaro, associate athletic director at MSU, said his department will be “aggressively pursuing” that opportunity for Mike Sadler. As far as football goes, Sadler might take a page out of former Florida State safety Myron Rolle’s book. Rolle was a Rhodes Scholar in 2009, and spent a year at Oxford before returning for the NFL draft.

Besides being an athletic all-star and a certified genius, Sadler is well known on the team and in the twittersphere for his sense of humor. So if he didn’t already sound like it before, I think that clinches his place as every girl’s dream man. With a bright future ahead, it will be worth watching what Sadler makes of himself in the coming years.

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