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Five-Star Kicker Sander Sahaydak Commits To Penn State

The nation’s best kicking prospect in the class of 2021 is staying home.

Five-star kicker Sander Sahaydak announced his verbal commitment to Penn State on Wednesday afternoon. He’s rated as the No. 1 kicking prospect in the nation by Kohl’s Kicking — the definitive authority on kicking and punting recruits.

Sahaydak plays his high school ball at Liberty High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Despite his ranking as the nation’s top kicker, the left-footed kicker only had offers from the Nittany Lions, Army, and Rutgers.

According to Kohl’s, Sahaydak needs a bit of improvement in terms of his mechanics and technique when kicking the ball. However, his leg speed is “special,” and he has the ability to routinely knock down field goals from — wait for it — 55-65 yards out.

“Sahaydak competed well at the Eastern Showcase and the Underclassman Challenge in the winter of 2020. He has special leg speed and is very coordinated,” Kohl’s Kicking said. “He stood out at the Underclassman Challenge in both charting and in the competitions. His field goal height off the ground is D-I ready right now.”

After enjoying Blake Gillikin’s booming, precise leg for four seasons, Penn State’s special teams unit will look a touch different in 2020. Jordan Stout, who also has a huge leg, will likely assume Gillikin’s punting duties while maintaining his role as a long-range field goal specialist. Steady placekicker Jake Pinegar showed improvement in 2019 by converting 11 of his 12 field goal attempts and 56 of 58 extra points.

With that in mind, both Pinegar and Stout have two seasons of eligibility remaining. Penn State previously secured its punter of the future when fellow five-star prospect Levi Forrest committed to the program in December, and Sahaydak fits the “kicker of the future” bill perfectly.

You can watch Sahaydak’s booming left foot in action below:

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address:


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