Hadley Flies Under the Radar

Cougar signee Spencer Hadley hails from Connell in rural Washington, which lies very much out of the way of the view of most college recruiters. That being the case, Hadley's dominant play in high school went relatively unnoticed. But one school did notice Hadley, and that was all he really wished for as he prepares to make an impact at the next level.

"BYU offered me and that was really all I needed," said Spencer Hadley. "BYU is really the only school I've ever wanted to play for. When they offered me a scholarship, I took it up right away."

Spencer Hadley is a 6-foot-2-inch, 215-pound linebacker/athlete who played basically every position imaginable while at Connell High School. With his height and weight, and the fact that he has played many positions, Hadley fits right with the type of athletes head coach Bronco Mendenhall and his staff are looking to identify and sign in mass.

During his sophomore campaign Hadley logged time playing safety and H-back, and also returned both kickoffs and punts. During his junior year, he added long-snapper to his repertoire. It was during his senior season that Hadley switched to play some running back and linebacker, along with the positions he manned during his previous two years.

Indeed, Hadley seldom left the field of play for his team regardless of the down and distance.

"I think during our last playoff game that I was only out for two plays the entire game," said Hadley. "It's fun being able to play so many positions and help out in a lot of ways."

Hadley finished up his high school career with 6,048 all-purpose yards despite missing four games his senior year due to injury. On the defensive side of the ball, Hadley accounted for 15 interceptions and 13 sacks, and averaged about seven tackles per game.

Yes, Hadley did it all, but despite doing it all, Cougar coaches weren't all that sure what Hadley could do at the next level until the summer between his junior and senior years.

"I've always been going to BYU's camps," said Hadley. "I went there between my sophomore and junior years and feel that I didn't do all that well. I didn't really show them that I could play."

It was following that camp experience that Hadley grew to develop into a position in which Cougar coaches grew confident that he could contribute at in a big way.

"I hit the weights and really grew to become a bigger and faster player," recounted Hadley. "When I went to camp a second time I did much better. I think coaches could see that I could play linebacker, where before they were looking at me at safety or somewhere else."

Hadley as a linebacker is an intriguing prospect given his size, strength and speed combo. Hadley needs to only gain about 10-to-15 more pounds while keeping his 4.6 forty speed, and he should be ready to compete following his church mission, which he'll take this coming May before enrolling at BYU.

This past August was when Hadley was first informed of the chance he'd have to play for BYU following his mission.

"I knew they were really interested in me after I went to camp, but it wasn't until August until they offered me," said Hadley. "Like I said, I didn't have to think about it long when they did offer me. BYU is really the only place I've ever wanted to play."

Indeed, Hadley comes from a BYU family in every sense of the word. With a brother and sister currently enrolled at BYU and a dad that bleeds blue as much as any fan out there, Hadley's Cougar roots were developed at a very young age.

"When I was young my parents gave me a BYU football-player outfit that I'd wear all the time," said Hadley. "All my life I've followed BYU and cheered for them. Now that I have the chance to play for them, [it] is incredible to me. It's very exciting and something I've always dreamed of."

Hadley is all the more excited about joining the current Cougar football program given what he's seen from the team over the past few seasons, coupled with what looks to be on tap in the coming years.

"Coach Mendenhall has really turned the program around and it's only going to get better," said Hadley. "What he's been able to do the last few years is exciting to me as someone who is getting ready to play for him. I believe that when I get back and join the team that they'll be even better than they were the last two seasons."

When Hadley returns from his mission he aims to work as hard as possible to help out the team whenever and wherever he can.

"I know how to work hard," said Hadley. "That's probably my biggest attribute. With a dad that's taught me to work hard and with eight brothers and sisters, I've learned to work, and that is why I've been able to have a good football career so far. I may not be the fastest or strongest player, but I know that I can work as hard as anyone and that is what fans can expect from me when I join the team."

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