courtesy Illinois athletics

Joe Spencer named to Rimington Watch List

Illini senior center the latest to receive preseason recognition

Illinois senior Joe Spencer was named to the preseason watch list for the Rimington Award, given to the nation's top center.

Spencer, an Ohio native, has started 24 of 25 games the last two seasons, helping the Illini finish 24th in the country in sack percentage allowed.

Spencer is even more accomplished off the field. He was a nominee for the 2015 Wuerfful Trophy, given for community service. He is the president of the Illinois Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the Illinois chapter of Uplifting Athletes, which raised more than $21,000 last weekend for rare-disease research at its annual Lift for Life event. Spencer is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and earned a bachelor's degree in finance. He is currently enrolled in graduate school. Tuesday, two other Illini received preseason recognition. Illinois quarterback Wes Lunt was named to the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award, give to the nation's top college football player. Illinois defensive end Dawuane Smoot was named to the  preseason watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the nation's top defensive player.

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