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Chargers 90-in-90: WR Michael Bandy

Bandy looks to make a name for himself with a team he played down the road from in college.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 15 San Diego at Harvard Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Michael Bandy was born and raised La Mirada, California where he grew up playing mainly football and baseball. He attended local Servite High School where he was named the team’s MVP and a First-Team All-State selection as a junior.

Deciding to stay close to home to play his collegiate ball, he chose to play at nearby San Diego. As a freshman, Bandy played sparingly, finishing his freshman season with 77 yards on four catches in 10 games. In his sophomore campaign, he recorded the first five starts of his college career and totaled 367 yards a pair of touchdowns on 25 catches.

As a junior, Bandy broke out in such a grand fashion that the list of achievements he collected is almost tough to fit on one page, but we’re going to try anyway:

During the 2018 season, Bandy did all of this:

  • Led the entire FCS with 1,427 yards during the regular season (12 games)
  • Finished second with 14 receiving touchdowns
  • Finished the entire season (regular and postseason) with 1,698 yards which ranked fifth all time in FCS history
  • Unanimous First-Team All-PFL selection
  • AFCA All-American Second Team
  • STATS FCS All-American First Team
  • Associated Press All-American First Team
  • Set an FCS Record with a 34.2 yards-per-reception average in a game against Davidson
  • Set the school record for receiving yards in both a game (324) and a season (1,698)
  • Finished second in school history with 88 catches in a season and third with 14 touchdowns
  • Recorded a 99-yard touchdown

Wowza.

His final season with the Toreros looked pretty similar in that Bandy was named to several more All-American teams, including a Third-Team STATS FCS All-American and another First-Team nod for AFCA. He finished his final season with 1,152 yards and 12 more scores, leading the conference in yards and landing second in touchdowns. He left USD as the only receiver in school history with back-to-back 1,100-yard season and the only one to catch at least 75 passes in multiple seasons.

After going undrafted in 2020, Bandy spent time with the Conquerors of The Spring League before signing with the Chargers on June 18 of this year.

Basic Info

Height: 5’10
Weight: 190
College: San Diego
Experience: 0
Years with team: 0

Contract Status

“Michael Bandy signed a 3 year, $2,425,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including an average annual salary of $808,333. In 2021, Bandy will earn a base salary of $660,000, while carrying a cap hit of $660,000.” - Spotrac.com

The Good

Bandy really stuffed the stat sheet while in college and that’s always a nice thing to have on a player’s resume heading into the NFL. He wins by creating consistent separation at the top of his routes and he’s shifty enough that he could find a role as a slot receiver that can push vertically when given the chance.

The Bad

Bandy may have been the best at the FCS level, but the conference he played within — the Pioneer Football League — is a non-scholarship Division 1AA group of schools, meaning that neither school in the conference offers football scholarships. So in a sense, it’s a glorified Division III league.

The COVID-19 pandemic really hampered the chances for many small-school prospects and that wasn't any different for Bandy. The lack of workout opportunities hurt his chances to hit the ground running with an NFL team but luckily he's back with one now.

Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2021?

Bandy comes in as the latest wide receiver to join the position room after spending time in The Spring League. At this point, it’s safe to say he is an extreme long shot to make the team, but his skillset is intriguing enough that maybe the Bolts will attempt to keep him around on the practice squad should be impress enough in camp. His biggest competition to make the PS this year will be Austin Proehl, James Hurst, and Jason Moore, neither of which are a deep threat like Bandy.