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Big Ten Network All-Decade Team: Mike Sadler named Punter of the Decade, Shilique Calhoun named to second-team

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Minnesota v Michigan State Photo by Mark Cunningham/Getty Images

This week, the Big Ten Network has been announcing its All-Decade football team for the 2010s. Former Michigan State punter Mike Sadler has been named to the first-team. He joins cornerback Darqueze Dennard as the only two Spartans to earn first-team recognition.

Sadler tragically lost his life in an automobile accident in 2016, but his legacy lives on forever within the MSU community. He is now the Big Ten Punter of the Decade.

During his career, Sadler punted the ball 268 times, averaging 42.2 yards per punt. He pinned 104 punts inside the 20-yard line and 56 punts inside the 10-yard line. Sadler also punted the ball 50 yards or more on 45 different plays.

While Sadler was a great weapon in terms of flipping field position as a punter, he also excelled in the classroom. In addition to his punting prowess, Sadler was also known to convert first downs on fake punts and trick plays. Who could ever forget “Hey Diddle Diddle, Sadler up the middle?”

Additionally, Sadler’s personality and sense of humor was why he stood out. Here are just a few of the accolades Sadler accomplished during his college career.

  • First four-time Academic All-American in Michigan State history, with a 3.97 career GPA (first-team 2013-2014, second-team in 2011-2012)
  • First-team All-American in 2013 by ESPN and CBS Sports
  • Second-team All-American selection in 2013 by Athlon Sports
  • First-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches in 2012 and 2013
  • Second-team All-Big Ten selection by the media in 2012 and 2013
  • 2013 Ray Guy Award semifinalist (nation’s top punter)
  • Four-time Academic-All Big Ten honoree
  • Named to the CoSIDA Academic All-American first-team in 2013 and 2014 and second-team in 2011 and 2012
  • National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete of 2014
  • 2014 William V. Campbell Trophy finalist (awarded to the top scholar-athlete)
  • 2013 Big Ten champion
  • Rose Bowl champion

While it hasn’t been promoted as heavily, the Big Ten Network has also been quietly announcing its second-team. Former Michigan State defensive end Shilique Calhoun earned second-team recognition.

Calhoun was a huge reason for Michigan State’s defensive success, and overall team success, during the height of the Mark Dantonio era. He helped lead the team to two Big Ten championships, a Rose Bowl victory and a College Football Playoff appearance. He was later selected in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the (then) Oakland Raiders. He now plays for the New England Patriots.

During his Spartan career, Calhoun amassed 131 total tackles, 44 tackles for loss, 27 sacks, six passes defended, four forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and one interception.

Here are some of the notable achievements for Calhoun while in East Lansing:

  • Three-time first-team All-Big Ten honoree (2013-2015)
  • Three-time second-team All-American selection (2013-2015)
  • 2013 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year
  • Two-time team captain
  • 2015 Hendricks Award finalist (awarded to the Defensive End of the Year)
  • Two-time Bednarik Award semifinalist (Defensive Player of the Year)
  • Two-time Lombardi Award semifinalist (Lineman of the Year)
  • Ranks first in school in history in tackles for loss yardage (268)
  • Ranks second in school history for sacks (27)
  • Scored three career defensive touchdowns
  • Two-time Big Ten champion (2013 and 2015)
  • Rose Bowl champion

Mark Dantonio was apparently named as the second-team All-Decade Head Coach as well:

Go Green!