Born: July 28, 1995
Michael Badgley was born July 28, 1995 in Summit. Though never the biggest or fastest kid on his youth league teams, Michael always found a way to succeed in sports where speed and contact were part of the game. He excelled in football, hockey and lacrosse, and became a three-sport star at Summit High. The Hilltoppers won state titles in each of these sports while Michael was on the varsity, including a pair of lacrosse championships in 2010 and 2011. Michael’s older brother, Pete, was the goalie on those teams and earned a scholarship to Providence.
Michael assumed he would play Division I lacrosse in college, but his success on the gridiron gave him second thoughts. He was an extraordinary kicker who played defensive back and running back, and occasionally subbed at quarterback. He set school records with a 49-yard field goal and 202 career kicking points. Michael racked up 187 points additional points on offense, defense and special teams, placing him second all-time to Hilltopper legend Willie Wilson (389 to 401). Summit went 12–0 and won the state championship at MetLife Stadium in his final game.
Michael did a post-graduate year at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia, a school that has produced more than 100 NFL players, including Plaxico Burress, Vinny Testaverde, Don Majkowski, Eddie George and Mike Quick. By the end of the 2013 season, Michael was the top-ranked prep kicker in the nation. He accepted a scholarship from the University of Miami and began setting school records as a sophomore with 25 field goals and a 57-yard three-pointer. He went on to set the U’s career record with 403 points. He was first-team All-ACC as a senior in 2017.
Michael went undrafted in 2018, but was invited to camp by the Colts, where he faced the unenviable task of beating out Adam Vinatieri. He mad the best of the opportunity by shadowing the 45-year-old veteran and picking his brains about life as an NFL kicker.
The Colts cut Michael in September but he was picked up the following month by the Los Angeles Chargers. On December 2, he booted a game-winning field goal against the Steelers on Sunday Night Football. The following Sunday he set a franchise record with a 59-yarder in a victory over the Bengals and was named Special Teams Player of the Week. Michael played 10 games for the Chargers in 2018 and hit 15 of 16 field goal attempts to establish another franchise mark with 93.8% made. In LA’s playoff win over the Ravens, he booted four field goals in the first half and five altogether to set a new team postseason record.
The 2019 season began poorly for Michael, who suffered a groin injury a few days before the opener and had to go on IL. His replacement, Ty Long, missed a pair of field goals in Week 2 that would have made the difference in a loss to the Lions. Michael missed the first half of the 2019 season with a groin injury. He hit 13 of 16 field goals and was perfect on extra points. The Chargers won just twice after Michael’s return to the field, however, cratering to a 5–11 record. Michael began the 2020 season in style by kicking the winning field goal in a 16–13 victory over the Bengals on opening day.