Kickers are always scoring leaders, and on a list of former State kickers that includes All-American Steve Videtich, All-American and Lou Groza Award winner Marc Primanti and Super Bowl Champion Steven Hauschka (who only played at State one season), Niklas Sade is standing out as one of college football’s premier kickers.
Sade has 250 points, which puts him at fourth in Career Scoring, behind Ted Brown (312 points), Josh Czajkowski (257) and Stan Fritts (256). Trailing Brown by 62 points, if he matched his 2013 total (88) he will easily pass Brown. For more, see the 2014 Media Guide (GoPack.com, pg. 72).
North Carolina State kicker Niklas Sade is on the verge of becoming the school’s all-time leading scorer, yet he says he doesn’t even remember his biggest moments – like his 43-yard game-winner over Maryland as a sophomore.
“Usually I don’t remember,” Sade said. “I’m so in the zone that everything around me is just blocked out.”
Sade is coming off a junior campaign in which he recorded 88 points — good for the sixth best single-season scoring output by any Wolfpack player in history. With a career total of 250 points entering 2014, he now needs just 63 points to pass Ted Brown on the Pack’s all-time career scoring list.
“I’m not thinking about it going into the season,” Sade said. “It’s pretty great I am in a situation I can do something like that for the program, but I am going to go into the season and take it one kick at a time.”
In 2012, Sade was just 13 of 23 on field goals, including 5-for-14 on kicks over 38 yards.
With the dismissal of Tom O’Brien following that season and the hiring of Dave Doeren, Sade knew he had to get back on track if he wanted to keep his job.
“With Doeren coming in I kind of put myself in his shoes,” Sade said. “If I was looking at the stat sheet and saw a kicker with the percentage I had on field goals I would be worried. I wanted him to trust me and I wanted my teammates to trust me.”
Sade retained the kicking duties and proceeded to hit his first seven field goals in 2013 – including a career-best four in the opener against Louisiana Tech. Confidence had been restored.
“Just being comfortable knowing that anywhere coach puts me on the field I can make that field goal,” Sade said.
He finished the season 19-for-23 and hit better than 50 percent from over 38 yards en route to earning team MVP honors and becoming a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award honoring the nation’s top kicker.
“(I take pride in) how much I put on myself after my sophomore season and being able to recover like that and showing how I can play,” Sade said. “I (want to) play to my potential and even work off of that to get better this year.”