The Big 10 didn't fair too well in bowl games this year, but both Michigan teams did manage a win... in over time, and one in triple over time at that. It just takes Michigan State a little longer!
Okay, sorry, just tough to bring myself to write about Michigan State with two proud Spartan grads and fans for a dad and brother. But Brad Sonntag was a little to hard to pass up. I don't think I have ever read, heard, or seen anything about the holder for the kicker until this guy.
He really made the difference in the third overtime against Georgia in the Outback Bowl. Steve Moore was called in for his first long snap of the year, and Sonttag just asked him to put it somewhere where he could get to it.
As it turns out, thanks be to God it was Sonntag, otherwise it might not have been gotten to. It skipped into the grass in front of him, but he calmly scooped up and held it for a successful field goal.
The fifth year senior is a reserve wide reciever playing holder this year. And he has definitely been preparing for this moment “About midway through every practice, (Michigan State quarterback coach Dave Warner) takes me aside and fires snaps at me,” Sonntag said.
He's only 5'8'' and 176 pounds and holding the ball for a field goal might not seem like much especially after four long years of preparation.
He shone in high school as a star quarterback, taking his team to the State Championship, and player of the year. But for all that, he appeared in only 11 MSU games mainly on special teams. Some much time, effort, and talent wasted for some seconds on the field.
But it's not all about him! He's helped the team all those years to their first Bowl Game win since 2001 (sorry, getting this in just eases the pain to writing about MSU). He never got tired of running routes with other receivers or defensive backs. He stayed late willing to do anything for his teammates.
It paid off!
As he says, “When you don't know who the holder is, you've done a great job. I guess today was my day to shine as a holder. But I was just doing my job. That's one of the small parts of the team that I do and I do that job well. I help ease the minds of the coaches with having a fifth year guy there. You don't have to worry about bad snaps. I'll get it done.”
As featured on the www.sportsleader.org blog.