Last Saturday afternoon, when Texas Tech celebrated one of the state’s favorite unofficial holidays with the annual spring intrasquad football scrimmage, Argyle junior wide receiver Ian Sadler decided he wanted to be a part of future festivities.
Sadler solidified his oral commitment to be a member of Texas Tech’s 2014 signing class on Saturday.
Oral commitments are non-binding. The first day a member of the class of 2014 can sign a national letter of intent is next Feb. 5.
The junior wide receiver said he felt comfortable in spending his future collegiate career at the Lubbock school.
“Being there is like a homey feeling for me, I guess,” Sadler said. “Everyone is kind and caring there, that’s what pretty much did it for me.”
Sadler spurned offers from Minnesota and Iowa State to join the first recruiting class of new Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who was previously the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M.
Last season at Argyle, there was hardly anything the 5-foot-10, 194-pound junior didn’t do for the Eagles. He hauled in 50 catches for 1,050 yards and 12 touchdowns. On the ground, he carried the ball 51 times for 404 yards and 15 touchdowns.
He had six total return touchdowns and also served as Argyle’s punter. Last year when starting safety Connor Wilson missed Argyle’s regional semifinal game against Gilmer, Sadler filled in as the team’s starting safety.
Argyle head coach Todd Rodgers said Sadler has great lateral speed and is one of the most versatile players he’s ever coached.
“He can literally play every down of the game because he fits there,” Rodgers said. “He’s on our punt team, and he could be on our kickoff cover team if we wanted to put him on there, but we don’t need him in that capacity at this time.”
Sadler said he was interested in Tech during his sophomore year. That was the same year he tore a knee ligament in the 2011 3A Division II state title game against Wimberley. But by the time he said he received his offer from former Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tubervile around last Thanksgiving, he had fully recovered and the injury became a moot point.
When Tuberville resigned as the Red Raiders’ head coach in December and Kingsbury was hired in the same month, Sadler said the new head coach was still interested in him and the two talked about his role in Kingsbury’s offense.
A couple of months ago, Sadler went down to Tech’s junior day, where prospective signees from the class of 2014 toured the town and the campus, furthering the courtship between school and student.
Sadler said junior day helped swing his decision. He said he wanted to commit to the Red Raiders when he recently visited a team practice, but he wanted to wait until his mother could be there with him when he announced his decision at the finale of the team’s spring football schedule.
“It was great,” Sadler said. “I’m glad I actually got to wait, because the atmosphere on Saturday was awesome. A bunch of recruits were there.”
Sadler said going to an in-school state was important, as he’ll be able to come back and visit his family occasionally.
Now with the decision behind him, he’ll be able to concentrate on helping the Eagles make another deep postseason run.
“It’s relieving,” Sadler said of the early decision. “It’s exciting at the same time, but now I can focus on the rest of my offseason and my summer workouts and then football next year.”
BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @Ben_Baby.