Evan Spencer received a lot of attention on his visit to Iowa over the weekend. He and his parents sat courtside at the men's basketball game on Saturday, sharing conversations with football coaches Erik Campbell, Lester Erb and Eric Johnson.
While it's common for football recruits to attend the basketball games and occupy those seats, the Spencer family was given the full-court press, if you will. Evan was the lone recruit there.
"I liked it a lot," Spencer said of the junior day trip. "The campus was really cool. The coaches all were cool. I enjoyed myself."
In the interest of full disclosure, Campbell and Evan's father, Tim Spencer, are friends. Tim is the Chicago Bears running backs coach following a 10-year stint in that position at his alma mater, Ohio State. Campbell is entering his third season at Iowa after being at Michigan while Tim Spencer coached with the Buckeyes.
"My dad has helped me a lot in this whole process," said Evan, a 2011 WR recruit. "He's not going to pressure me to go to any school. He just keeps my mind on my school work and my priorities in order. We probably talk for about 45 minutes after each of my games."
The elder Spencer played for the Buckeyes from ‘79-82 and then in USFL and NFL. He racked up 3,553 yards for the Buckeyes and remains the school's third all-time leading rusher.
"He's not going to pressure me to go to Ohio State just because he went there," Evan said. "Even though he and my mom went there, that's not going to affect my decision or make me put them ahead of anybody else right now."
In addition to a scholarship offer from Iowa, Spencer holds rides from Illinois, Nebraska and Wisconsin. He's receiving mail from a lot of other schools, including Notre Dame, which he visited during the season (he also saw two games at Wisconsin).
"I'm not going to put together a Top 3 or anything like that," Spencer said. "I'm just going to wait to see what happens and see where this thing goes. I want to get a good perspective on things and find the best fit for me."
Spencer feels like Iowa is solidly in the mix of schools vying for his services.
"They came through with a scholarship offer early and I liked what I saw out there," he said. "I think there's an opportunity for me to play early. But that's going to come down to me getting my stuff done no matter where I go."
Spencer said he stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 185 pounds. His fastest 40-yard dash time is 4.5 seconds, which he ran last summer.
"I think I do well at tracking the ball and making the catch at all costs," Spencer said. "I use my quickness to my advantage and also have the speed to break away. I have weaknesses like most players, but I'm working hard to make those strengths."
One of the happiest people going into next football season at Vernon Hills has to be the quarterback. The opposing cornerbacks probably are dreading the thought of seeing Spencer on one side and DaVaris Daniels (also holds Iowa offer) on the other side.
"We're each other's best coaches," Spencer said. "When we get back to the huddle, we're always pointing things out to each other. We coach each other up."
The duo is thinking that they might end up on the same college offense.
"We've talked about it ever since we got into high school," Spencer said. "We always thought it would be cool, but never thought it would happen when we were freshmen. We've been good friends since I moved here and it looks like it could happen."