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
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 last year. He appeared in one game this past season against the Texans where he returned four kickoffs for 88 total yards. Following the season, he signed a reserve/future contract to stay with the team this offseason.
College: San Diego
Years with team: 1
“Michael Bandy signed a 1 year, $705,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including an average annual salary of $705,000. In 2022, Bandy will earn a base salary of $705,000, while carrying a cap hit of $705,000.” - Spotrac.com
Bandy really stuffed the stat sheet while in college and that’s always a nice thing to have on a player’s resume as a player trying to make a place for himself in 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.
Bandy may have been the best at the FCS level, but the conference he played within — the Pioneer Football League — is a non-scholarship FCS group of schools, meaning that neither school in the conference offers full-ride football scholarships. So in a sense, it’s a glorified Division III league.
Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2022?
Bandy managed to stick around for another offseason after being a mainstay on the practice for all but one week of the regular season. He’s one of currently 10 wide receivers on the roster which means he’ll be fighting for a spot on the practice squad along with Jason Moore, Maurice Ffrench, and Joe Reed. The Chargers kept three wide receivers on their initial practice squad so there is technically a chance they do it again. However, with the addition of DeAndre Carter this offseason, I don’t believe the wide receiver will be nearly as unproven so two or even one wideout on the PS sounds about right this year.