UCLA — This talented tackle has emerged as one of the best in the Pac-10, if not the nation, and is a candidate for All-America honors … Named pre-season second-team All-America by The Sporting News and Street & Smith’s … Mike enters the 2002 season with 30 career starts on the offensive line, including 23 straight at right tackle … He is one of four returning starters on the offensive line and will begin his fourth season as a starter … Made a smooth transition to right tackle after starting at right guard as a second-year freshman in 1999 … Mike is a fine athlete who is extremely competitive and raises the level of play of those around him … He demonstrated excellent leadership skills and continued to improve on the little things during Spring ball… Mike is a tough, aggressive performer who plays hard on every snap … A smart player, he is a fine run blocker, especially on the reach block, and sustains his pass blocks well.
2001 — Saffer started all 11 games at right tackle and earned second-team All-Pac-10 conference honors … On the year, he made 46 KO blocks and compiled a grade of 88% or higher in eight of 11 contests … He played at least 60 offensive plays in eight contests … Played a season-high 82 snaps in the Arizona State game … Graded out a team-high 92% in the Alabama game and had six KO blocks … Graded 89% at Kansas and had a team-best 88% grade in the Ohio State contest … Led the team with a 97% grade in the Washington game in which DeShaun Foster broke the school single game rushing record with 301 yards … Had six KO blocks in the game at USC … Had an 89% grade versus Oregon and graded 90% and had five KOs versus Arizona State … On the year, he recorded five or more KO blocks six times.
2000 — Saffer started all 12 games as a redshirt sophomore and played consistently well throughout the season … He missed just one offensive snap the entire season (Michigan) … Played at least 60 snaps in all but the USC game, including 86 against Alabama, 85 at California, 81 versus Fresno State, 80 against Arizona State and 79 versus Michigan.
1999 — Appeared in seven games as a redshirt freshman and started them all … Started in the first two games of the season at right guard … Sat out games vs. Fresno State and Stanford due to an ankle sprain incurred during the Ohio State contest (he played 73 snaps in that game despite the injury) … Returned to the starting lineup versus Arizona State in the season’s fifth game and started five straight games before spraining his right MCL in practice prior to the Washington game, ending his season … Saffer was on the field for at least 70 plays in four of his seven games, including 73 at Ohio State, 72 at Arizona State, 71 versus Oregon and 70 against Arizona.
1998 — Did not appear in a game during his first year in the program.
HIGH SCHOOL — Mike was considered by many to be the top prep offensive lineman in the nation in 1997 … Earned three varsity letters in football for coach Jeff Scurran at Sabino High in Tucson, AZ … Made all of his team’s offensive line calls … Allowed only one sack in his three years as a starter … USA Today first-team All-America … National Recruiting Advisor Franchise Player and All-America (No. 2 OT and No. 14 on the National 100) … Parade All-America … Member of PrepStar Dream Team (No. 2 OL) … PrepStar Western Region Super 30 … PrepStar All-America (No. 1 OL in West) … ESPN SportsZone first-team All-America … The Sporting News Top 100 (No. 25 prospect) … Student Sports Senior All-America … ESPN SportsZone No. 3 OL … ESPN SportsZone No. 14 prospect … Cornwell’s National Top 100 (No. 14 prospect) …SuperPrep All-American (No. 4 OL) … SuperPrep All-Far West (No. 16 prospect) … SuperPrep National 50 (No. 39) … Bill Buchalter’s Top 100 (No. 32 prospect ) … CBS SportsLine Top 100 … Member of Tacoma News-Tribune Western 100 … Member of Long Beach Press-Telegram’s Best in the West second team (six votes) … Named All-State by the Arizona Republic … Led team to 13-1 record and championship game … Member of PrepStar pre-season Dream Team … PrepStar pre-season Best in the West … National Recruiting Advisor pre-season All-American (No. 1 OG) … SuperPrep pre-season All-American (No. 12 OL) … Also lettered two seasons in track in the shot put and discus events.
PERSONAL — Full Name: Michael Steven Saffer … Born: April 25, 1979 in West Los Angeles, CA … Parents: Don and Susan Saffer … Mike’s parents both graduated from UCLA … Father was a guard for John Wooden’s 1967 NCAA championship basketball team and also lettered in 1966 … Has two older brothers, Jonathan and Jeffrey, who play professional baseball; and a younger sister, Danielle … Uncle Daniel Rice played football at UCLA … Aunts Julie and Marilyn Rice also attended UCLA … Patterns his style of play after NFL star John Fina … Biggest athletic thrill was playing in the 1997 Arizona State championship football game … Hobbies include golf and lifting weights … Earned spot on Director’s Honor Roll in Spring 1999 (3.13 GPA), Fall 2000 (3.43), Winter 2001 (3.33), Spring 2001 (3.03), Fall 2001 (3.33) and Winter 2002 (3.37) … History major.