"From what I hear, it's a real good school that's real good at football," Spears said. "I know that a lot of good linebackers come out of there. That got my attention."
Iowa's most recent starting middle linebacker, Pat Angerer, was selected in the second round of the NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts last week. The Miami Dolphins grabbed former Hawkeye A.J. Edds in the fourth round.
Scout.com ranks Spears as a three-star recruit on a five-star scale. The 6-foot-2, 228-pounder from Allen (Texas) High is rated as the 37th best middle linebacker in the 2011 class.
"I'm not the fastest guy, but I play smart and really read plays well," Spears said. "Playing comes easy to me because I understand the game. Some say I'm not fast, but I get to the ball quick."
Allen Coach Tom Westerberg, who led his team to the Texas 5A Division II title in 2008, speaks highly of his linebacker.
"He's a really good kid," Westerberg said. "He's been on the varsity since he was a sophomore and played back-up for our state championship team. He started every game last year.
"He defends the run real well. He's big and physical."
"I'm really looking to get a good education," Spears said. "I'm interested in studying architecture and sometimes that's hard to find. I'm looking for a school with nice people and nice scenery."
Spears said he's best suited to play inside, but feels he could play outside as some colleges have inquired about him doing.
"I think he'll play inside," said Westerberg, whose school is in the process of building a $60 million stadium. "I think most colleges are looking at him on the inside. I don't think he quite has the foot speed to play on the outside at the next level."
Spears said he hopes to visit Iowa and Minnesota sometime in the spring or early summer but hasn't scheduled it. He also wants to attend a few team camps but hasn't settled on where he's going.
"I don't know a lot about Minnesota," he said. "I haven't heard much from them. I hear it's a really good school."
Said Westerberg: "I think he's going to get a lot more attention. He's already got quite a bit of interest."
Spears receives a lot of questions about his recruitment.
"People are asking me every day where I'm going to school and get a name out of me," Spears said. "I really don't know yet. I just want to do what I have to do to get more schools to look at me."
It sounds like Spears will let that process play out for a while.
"I'm not sure when I'll make a decision," he said. "It might be a better time to do it after the season so I can get to know the schools a little better and take my official visits."