Sonny Fulks
Sonny Fulks
Managing Editor

Sonny Fulks is a graduate of Ohio State University and pitched four varsity seasons for the Buckeye baseball team from 1971 through 1974.  He furthered his baseball experience as a minor league league umpire for seven years, working in the Florida State League (A), the Southern League (AA), and the American Association (AAA).  He has written for numerous websites and outdoor publications, and for the past ten years has served as a regular columnist and photo editor for Gettysburg Magazine, published by the University of Nebraska Press.  Widely knowledgeable on that period of American History, Fulks is a frequent speaker on the Civil War at local roundtables throughout the Midwest. He and wife Mindy have two grown children and live in Covington, Ohio.


Happy as I was to hear that Piqua’s Brandon Saine had been picked up by the Packers last week, this much I understand.  The person who probably wants as little written about it as possible is….Brandon Saine.

A family member brought it to my attention last week at the news of Brandon Saine signing a free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers.

“Aren’t you going to get hold of him (Saine) and get the story for Press Pros?”  asked my son Matt.  And I’m sure some did, maybe even many.  I don’t know.

But I’ll share with you here what I know to be the real “story” concerning Brandon Saine…as a running back for the Piqua Indians, as a running back/receiver at Ohio State, and I’m guessing now, as a free agent NFL signee, and an undrafted one at that, with the Green Bay Packers.  Brandon Saine is not one to solicit publicity.

I asked him prior to his senior year at Piqua about personal goals he had set for himself for his final season.

“Just to win,”  he answered quietly.  “Hopefully we have a good year as a team.”  That was it.  No hyperbole about improving his stock as a Division I college prospect, nothing pertaining to all-time marks at Piqua for rushing and scoring…just focus on the priority of what he could help his team accomplish.  The other 44 guys were just as important as he.

After his up and down start at Ohio State, which included a knee injury, time on the bench,  and some exaggerated rumors that he was unhappy and considering a transfer, he was back in Piqua to watch the Indians’ opener from the sidelines prior to his junior season.

“How’s it going for you?”  I asked him.  He smiled shyly and nodded.

Brandon Saine as he appeared in 2006 as "Mr. Football" on the 2006 Div. II state champion Piqua Indians.

“Fine.  Everything’s OK,”  he said.  “Good to see you.”

That was it.  Nothing more, and as always, with that shy smile that characterizes his personality.

You don’t read a lot of Brandon Saine stories because he doesn’t seek the attention.  His focus then, at Piqua and Ohio State, was how to help the team.  His focus inow, in Green Bay…how to make the team.  I’m sure of it.

Go online and read what others say about his prospects. His experience at Ohio State as a running back, too limited.  His experience as a pass receiver too much of an unknown.  That’s probably all the motivation he needs…someone doubting that he belongs.

The National Football League is a brutal, unforgiving experience for 80% of undrafted free agents, but will I be surprised if Brandon Saine sticks with the Packers, or another team prior to opening day?  No!

Will I be surprised if he breaks a couple of runs or kick returns as a rookie, even in pre-season?  No.

Would I be surprised if he earns a job and a living until the percentages of time and turnover in the NFL catches up with him?  Not at all.

But ask me if I’ll be surprised if you read anything from Brandon Saine that comes by any other means than someone prodding it out of him, and I’ll tell you…yes!  I’d bet you dollars to dimes that all he’s concerned about is staying healthy and making a good impression, and not talking about it.  If you asked him he’d tell you, “It’s going fine.”  So I won’t.

And that’s the real “story”, then and now…about Brandon Saine!