« Football 2008

Louie Sakoda

School

University of Utah

Position
Punter/Kicker

Classroom

Louie is currently pursuing a degree in marketing and maintains a 3.728 cumulative GPA. He is a three-time Mountain West Conference Scholar-Athlete and a three-time member of the Dean’s List. Sakoda is a six-time member of the Athletics-Academics Honor Roll (eligible every semester). Sakoda was named a National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete and Draddy finalist on Oct. 29 and a recipient of an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship.

Character

Head Coach Kyle Whittingham on Sakoda: “I would not trade Louie Sakoda for any other punter or kicker in the nation. Louie is a great athlete, not just a great kicker, and the other players on the team admire him-both on and off the field. The ironic thing about the recognition he has received is that Louie always chooses team success over individual success. For instance, while Louie’s yards per punt average is impressive, he always strives to put the ball inside the 20-yard line rather than padding his stats. He is adept placing the ball inside the 20 and even 10-yard line with great regularity. Louie may be an even better place kicker than punter. When he kicks from 50 yards and in, the chances are astronomical that he is going to make it. Again, his mental outlook and approach are just as impressive as his physical skills.

Community

Louie is an active member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and currently holds the title of vice president. He has also been a representative on the Crimson Club Board as the student-athlete website liaison. As a special teams captain, Sakoda represents the Utah football team and athletic department in various speaking engagements. Additionally, he is involved in “Team Lincoln,” a local program that was created to provide a program of organized recess activities for at-risk children in grades 1-6. During his work with “Team Lincoln,” he works directly with the students playing various sports. Louie has also volunteered with local Pop Warner teams, including speaking about the importance of education. He has worked with the Utah governor’s office on a campaign to prevent drunk driving. As part of a class project, Louie worked with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to raise money for humanitarian efforts around the world. He was involved in fund raising and recruiting donors for the organization. He has spent time working with several high school kickers in the area and helped coach local camps. His mentoring efforts do not end there, as he is in his third year working with the Chris Sailer Kicking National Kicking and Snapping Event in Las Vegas.

Competition

Sakoda, a 2007 first-team All-America punter (FWAA, CBSSports) and kicker (Rivals.com), has been named a 2008 Midseason All-America kicker by CBSSports.com, The Sporting News and Rivals.com. He is a three-time top-10 semi-finalist for the Ray Guy Award and a two-time Lou Groza Award semifinalist. Louie was picked as the 2008 Preseason MWC Special Teams Player of the Year and was the Lou Groza Star for the week of Sept. 1st and Nov. 3. Sakoda became the most decorated weekly performer (all positions) in MWC history when he was named MWC Special Teams Player of the Week for the 11th time in his career on Nov. 3. As of Nov. 2, Sakoda was among the national leaders in field goal percentage (19-of-21, 90.5%) and punting average (41.5). He was tied for third in the country in kick scoring points (103) and is seventh in points scored from any position. 43.4% of his punts (20-of-46) have been downed inside the 20-yard line, including 12 inside the 15-yard line and five inside the 5-yard line. He kicked a game-winning 37-yard field goal with 0:00 remaining against Oregon State and his career-long 53-yard field goal against Michigan proved the winning score. He is perfect on his field goal attempts from 47 yards and in (15-of-15) and 2-of-3 from 50 yards and out. He also has makes of 48, 49, 50 and 53 yards, while his two misses were from 48 and 54 yards. Sakoda is the school record holder for punts (232) and punt yards (9,740). He ranks first in the nation for active dual kickers and punters in career punts and career punt yards and his 85.71% career field goal percentage (54-of-63) ranks first among all active dual kicker/punters (minimum 25 games played).  He was named a 2008 unanimous consensus first team All-American kicker and was named to the AP, AFCA, FWAA, Sporting News, and WCFF teams.  Sakoda is considered the top kicker prospect for the 2009 NFL Draft.