By Paul Sykes
For Gabe Mullane, the journey has been a long one but he’s finally getting to do what he wants to do: Punt the football.
He was wearing a University of Louisville uniform when Marcus Vick did the legendary leg stomp at the Gator Bowl. He banged heads against ex-Card and current Pittsburgh Steeler William Gay in practice drills. He wore jersey #17, the number of legendary quarterback Stefan LeFors.
Mullane was among the incoming freshmen in Bobby Petrino’s talented and highly ranked 2005 class but he wasn’t so highly regarded.
The would-be punter from Canton, Ohio, was good enough for the traveling roster and back up Todd Flannery and Brent Moody.Â But he wanted a little bit more than that. He transferred to Indiana State the next season, missing the chance to go to the Orange Bowl and play on Petrino’s best squad ever.
Didn’t matter. Gabe wanted to play, not watch. At ISU, he got the opportunity. Maybe more than he wanted. Last year, he punted 82 times for over 2,400 yards, had a 66-yarder for his personal best and dropped 17 of them inside the 20 yard line.
As a senior, team captain and leader, Gabe has set the bar even higher for the upcoming season. He would like to average 42 yards a kick and see the Sycamores break their 26 game losing streak. To return to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium will be a thrill.
Here’s hoping Mullane has a great season for the Sycamores, except for the season opener for Louisville. Catch, release and boot, Gabe. This old wannabe kicker wishes you the best. Watch the shanks.