All-Big Ten punter Mike Sadler receives Capital One Division I Academic All-America Second-Team honors for the second-straight year.

 

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State junior linebacker Max Bullough and sophomore punter Mike Sadler have been named to the 2012 Capital One Division I Academic All-America Second Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Sadler earns Second-Team Academic All-America honors for the second year in a row. It also marks the first time Michigan State has had multiple Academic All-Americans in the same season since 2005 when center Chris Morris and quarterback Drew Stanton both received second-team recognition.

 

Michigan State is one of eight programs with at least two players listed on the 48-man Capital One Division I Academic All-America (first and second) Team.

 

“Max Bullough and Mike Sadler are committed to pursuing excellence in both the academic and competitive arenas, and both achieved success at the highest levels, earning Academic All-America honors in the classroom and All-Big Ten honors on the playing field,” MSU head coach Mark Dantonio said. “Their work ethic and dedication – in both areas – are inspirational.

 

“We congratulate Max and Mike on their academic and athletic successes.”

 

“Max Bullough and Mike Sadler are most deserving of Academic All-America honors,” Director of Academic Services Todd Edwards said. “They serve as great examples to many, including their teammates, in showing what hard work can accomplish both on the field and in the classroom. There are a lot of good players and good students that compete at this level, but few who excel in both areas like Max and Mike, particularly at such highly visible positions and with such academically challenging majors. We’re very proud of both of them and happy for their families.”

 

Bullough, a finance major who maintains a 3.73 grade-point average, leads the Spartans in tackles (102), tackles for loss (12 for 44 yards) and production points (294). His 2.5 sacks (15 yards) rank second on the team. The Butkus Award semifinalist and first-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches is listed among the Big Ten’s Top 10 in tackles (ninth at 8.5 per game) and tackles for loss (tied for eighth at 1.0 pg.). In conference games, Bullough finished fourth in the Big Ten in tackles, averaging 9.5 per game.

 

A model of consistency, Bullough tallied at least 20 production points in 10 of 12 regular-season games, including the last nine in a row.

 

Bullough, who was elected a team captain this season, has produced at least one tackle for loss in each of the last seven games, including a 1-yard loss in the regular-season finale at Minnesota. He also posted a team-high seven stops against the Gophers.

 

The 6-3, 252-pound Bullough registered eight tackles against Northwestern, with one tackle for loss (2 yards). His half sack (combined with junior defensive end William Gholston) against Kain Colter resulted in a 1-yard loss and a safety in the first quarter.

 

He reached double figures in tackles for the fourth time this season and sixth time in his career, with 10 stops against Nebraska.

 

Bullough recorded nine tackles while setting career highs for both tackles for loss (2.5 for 15 yards) and sacks (2 for 14) in Michigan State’s 16-13 overtime victory at No. 25 Wisconsin, as the Spartans recorded their first win in Madison since 2001 while snapping the nation’s second-longest active home winning streak at 21 games. MSU limited Wisconsin to 19 yards rushing (37 carries) – nearly 182 fewer than its season average. The Spartans also held the Badgers to 190 total yards – the first time UW managed fewer than 200 yards total offense since Nov. 20, 2004 (186 vs. Iowa). MSU’s produced season highs in both tackles for loss (12 for 59) and sacks (5 for 38).

 

He posted 10 stops, a career-high two pass break-ups and recorded his first interception of the season at Michigan.

 

Bullough recorded 11 stops against Iowa and posted a season-high 12 stops against No. 14 Ohio State to go along with two pass break-ups and a forced fumble.

 

The Traverse City, Mich., native has 214 tackles, including 20.5 for losses (76 yards), in 39 career games. Bullough has started every game at middle linebacker since the beginning of the 2011 season (26 consecutive games), a streak that ranks tied for longest on the Spartan defense (strong safety Isaiah Lewis; defensive end Marcus Rush) and second-longest on the team (right guard Chris McDonald, 29-straight starts). He led the team in tackles last season with 89 and was a second-team All-Big Ten pick by the coaches and a honorable mention selection by the media.

 

Bullough is a third-generation Spartan, following in the footsteps of his grandfather Hank (guard, 1952-54) and father Shane (linebacker, 1983-86) who played football at Michigan State. Max’s father Shane was a two-time Academic All-American (1985: second team; 1986: first team). Shane also was named a team captain in 1986 and earned first-team All-Big Ten honors that season.

 

Sadler has achieved perfection in the academic arena, maintaining a 4.0 GPA while pursuing a double major in applied engineering sciences and supply chain management. The two-time Academic All-American has already reached senior status in academic standing. He is the first Spartan to earn Academic All-America honors in back-to-back seasons since Josh Thornhill (2000-01) and just the seventh player in program history to earn multiple Academic All-America honors (Blanche Martin, 1957-58; Allen Brenner, 1966, ’68; Dean Altobelli, 1985-86; Shane Bullough, 1985-86; Steve Wasylk, 1992-93; and Josh Thornhill, 2000-01).

 

A first-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches, Sadler leads the Big Ten and ranks 22nd in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in punting with his 43.3-yard average. He has placed 41 percent of his punts inside the opponents’ 20 (28-of-68) and 22 percent inside the 10 (15-of-68). Sadler has 16 punts of 50-plus yards, including a career-long 70 yarder against No. 14 Ohio State.

 

The 6-0, 180-pound Sadler was named the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week after averaging 46.6 yards on seven punts vs. No. 21 Nebraska, including three placed inside the 20. He pinned a season-best three punts inside the 10 in the overtime win at Wisconsin.

 

The Grand Rapids, Mich., native averaged 41.1 yards on seven punts at Michigan, including a season-high four inside the 20. On fourth-and-9 from MSU’s 23-yard line in the fourth quarter against the Wolverines, Sadler ran a fake punt 26 yards for a Spartan first down, leading to Dan Conroy’s go-ahead field goal with 5:48 remaining in the game.

 

Sadler averaged a career-best 55.4 yards per punt (five for 277 yards) against the Buckeyes, including his career-long 70-yarder in the second quarter.

 

Sadler’s career average of 42.2 yards per punt is currently sixth best in MSU history.

 

To be eligible for the Academic All-America Team, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.3 cumulative grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale) for his career. He also must have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing.

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