Cougars Get Small-Town Commit

Literally two days before most of the attention is turned toward fall practices, Cougar coaches received yet another verbal commitment to sign a letter of intent this coming February. While the name isn't the most familiar and the high school which he plays for isn't the most recognizable, the credentials speak for themselves.

Spencer Hadley is a 6-foot-1-inch, 210-pound athlete who plays both wide receiver and strong safety for small-town Connell High School, which lies 40 minutes due south of the tri-cities area in Washington. Hadley quickly snatched up the offer the day after it was given to him.

"BYU is where I wanted to go no matter what, so it was an easy decision," said Hadley. "I don't want to go anywhere else, so when they offered it was a very easy decision for me to accept the offer. It's really a dream come true."

Hadley grew up in a BYU-family, as his dad graduated from BYU and has become a huge fan of the program. That love of the program rubbed off on his family, particularly his son, who will now have the opportunity to play for BYU. Hadley has been a true-blue faithful fan ever since he can remember.

"I remember when I was five I got one of those little uniforms you can buy at the bookstore there, and I wore it all the time," said Hadley. "I've wanted to be a BYU football player ever since I can remember. I love BYU and always have."

Like many young kids, Hadley idolized certain players and would pretend to be those players in neighborhood games and what not. Who was the player Hadley idolized the most?

"Luke Staley," answered Hadley without hesitation. "He was the man. Just watching him play, he's the guy I wanted to be like when I was young."

Although he'll play at the same university as Staley, Hadley will be cutting his teeth at the linebacker position.

"That's where coaches think I'll play my best at, so I'm good with it," said Hadley. "After seeing me at camp and watching film, they told me that they thought I'd make a good linebacker and offered me a scholarship to play the position."

Hadley is a two-year veteran of BYU's summer camps, having most recently attended the second week of camp this past year. He proved his worth and earned himself an offer thanks to his workouts and film of his play on the field.

"When I was at camp I was determined to show coaches that I could work as hard as anyone," said Hadley. "Along with my abilities, I felt it important to show them how hard of a worker I was."

At camp's conclusion, Hadley was told by the Cougar coaching staff that they liked him a lot, but that they only had three scholarships open for 10 players that they had already offered, and were not sure that they'd have room for another offer. As the process went on, a scholarship opened up, which Hadley quickly snatched.

"Coach Tidwell informed me yesterday that they wanted to offer me a scholarship and it was seriously a dream come true," said Hadley. "It's what me and my dad wanted so much, so we decided that I'd accept the offer almost immediately."

Hadley was greeted with encouragement and excitement from the Cougar coaching staff, and Coach Mendenhall expressed a belief in Hadley's abilities.

"Coach Mendenhall told me that he believed in me and my abilities and that, more than anything else, is why he offered me a scholarship," said Hadley. "Coach Mendenhall is a great man and a great coach and having the opportunity to play for him at BYU is something I've always wanted."

As mentioned, Hadley prepped at Connell High School, which plays in Washington's lowest division, at the I-A level. This made it hard for Hadley to serve notice to colleges regarding his abilities.

"Me and my dad knew that I'd have to show people that I could play at camps and on film," said Hadley. "So we went to some camps and got some attention from schools like Oregon State, Boise State and obviously BYU. But it all worked out; I'm signing with the school I want to sign with."

Hadley dominated his division in both football and basketball. He was named First-Team All-State at both the receiver and safety positions, and was named the MVP in basketball. Hadley also runs on his high school's 4x100 relay team and was the state champion in discus.

Being somewhat of an under-the-radar type of athlete playing for a small rural high school makes Hadley somewhat similar to his cousin, who will be beginning his first year at BYU this coming year.

"I'm first-cousins with Austen Jorgensen," said Hadley. "We didn't know each other that well since we live in different states, but it's going to be great playing with Austen at BYU at the same position."

Hadley has definite mission plans and will be leaving for his mission service immediately out of high school, as he turns 19 the November after he graduates. Upon his return, Hadley will have five years to play four.

"I love BYU," summed up Hadley. "To have the opportunity to play for the school I always wanted to play for as a kid is all I could hope for. I love that the program is on its way up as well. Everything about BYU is perfect for me from the faith, the atmosphere and the football program. I couldn't be more happy."


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