Commitment Analysis: Spencer Shuey

A closer look at Clemson verbal commitment Spencer Shuey, who emerged on the scene less than two months ago after an impressive week leading up to the Shrine Bowl.

LB Spencer Shuey Profile

The biggest surprise of the Shrine Bowl week, he literally exploded onto the scene in a week's time.

Shuey is a multi-sport athlete and do to constant competitions in one sport or another, he didn't attend many camps. In addition, he plays in an area of North Carolina that has a couple of traditional high school powerhouses that garner much of the press and media attention. Due to these factors, Shuey was one of those rare hidden gems that are becoming harder and harder to miss as recruiting expands outwards into a bigger and bigger business. A big linebacker, Shuey seems to be ideally sized to play in the middle as the run-stuffing anchor of a linebacking corps.

Not the fastest prospect, nor does he possess a great initial burst, Spencer makes up for these by taking excellent angles and playing downhill. He sets his eyes on the ball carrier, takes precise routes to arrive at his destination and closes extremely fast for a player of his size. Uses his size very effectively, stoning lead blockers and runners in the gaps and limiting yards after contact. Has good natural strength in his hands that allows him to engage and shed blockers, but is inconsistent with this talent. Given more concentration in this area, Spencer could have a real talent for ridding himself of blockers and becoming a real nuisance in between the tackles.

Shuey rushed for 1,263 yards and 16 touchdowns on offense as a senior. His defensive stats included 94 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss, two sacks and seven quarterback pressures
It is rare to see a linebacker at the high school level that attacks the line of scrimmage as aggressively as he does; most players tend to wait for the ball to come to them and make the play, while Shuey actively seeks the ball and runs through the tackle. At the Shrine Bowl, showed some athleticism by bottling up the fastest player on the South Carolina squad (McDowell) several times and even chased down South Carolina's most explosive athlete (Gilmore) along the sideline for a minimal gain. Against the highest level of competition at the all-star game, Shuey put up an eye-popping eight tackles in the first segment of the game before having to leave with a broken thumb.

Scouts weren't questioning his athleticism then, but rather if he could break the 20 tackle barrier. Shuey does have some flexibility issues and isn't the most fluid of players in the open field. Do not expect him to play sideline to sideline at the next level – the players at that level are just too quick. While he surprised many coaches displaying an adequate ability to drop in coverage, he would be better suited in a zone scheme. Requiring him to chase a scat back or a receiving tight end across the field is an exercise in futility and a big play waiting to happen.

Shuey will also be a huge liability on misdirection, or against smaller, cutback runners; if he doesn't guess right and isn't around the ball from the get go, he likely isn't going to be a factor in the play. In the right system, namely one with quick, active ends that can turn plays back into the middle, athletic OLBers flanking him and having a solid secondary behind him, Shuey could be a force at the next level between the hashes. Shuey has the size to develop into a strongside defensive end, but his skill set is much better suited at this time to playing MLB.

My Personal Rating: I'm going to go middle range 3-star. If put in the right system, he's a smart player that can mask his weaknesses and play to his strengths, which will allow him to play up to a low 4-star level. However, his athletic drawbacks can't be ignored and he can't be rated on what he could be in a perfect system. Top Stories