When a recruit is an outstanding football player, he’s a catch (no pun intended). But the only thing that might be able to make a recruit more enticing than just simply being an incredible athlete is when that recruit possesses desire – by this, I don’t mean the desire to play well, or the desire to make it to the NFL. No…I mean the long-standing desire to play for a specific school.
Such is the case for Spencer Brown, a highly talented defensive end out of Commerce Township, MI, a member of the Class of 2019.
“I can’t even explain in words how I feel about Michigan State,” Brown told Spartan Nation. “It’s just my dream school. It was like love at first sight.”
“I wasn’t really raised with it…I grew up on it. I grew up when Michigan State was beating Michigan, so I just kind of fell on the bandwagon. I just love the school atmosphere. In Michigan, you’ve gotta be either Michigan or Michigan State growing up, so I just fell in love with Michigan State,” Spencer said.
Brown, a 6’6, 270-pound sophomore, is currently at Walled Lake Western, after recently transferring from Walled Lake Northern. Even at such a young age, four schools are actively looking at him– MSU, Central Michigan, Northwestern and Toledo – but no official offers have been made yet. With such a big frame on such a young guy, it does take some time to figure out the right ways to maneuver on the football field, which is a stage Spencer is in right now.
“Growing up I was, I wouldn’t say sloppy, but I wasn’t grown into my body, so I wouldn’t move right. I’m still growing into my body, so now that I’m maturing and developing my body, I’m really starting to get more athletic. I’m starting to just dominate now, getting a grasp and just being able to play more athletic,” Brown admitted.
Those physical differences may come from Spencer learning to become obsessed with one thing in particular…the weight room.
“Here at Walled Lake Western, they have a very good weight program, and they already told me, ‘Look, you’re going to have to fall in love with the weight room…you’re gonna have to love to work.’ It’s easier said than done, so I’m just going to have to fall in love with it and trust the process. That’s gonna be a big thing with me,” Brown stated.
Beyond the physical abilities, athletes understand that there’s a mental difference between who they are on the field and who they are off of it. Often times, you’ll hear players refer to the “switch” that turns on and off…it’s what makes them great men off the field, and vicious beats between the white lines.
“That’s my biggest thing – I’m cool, I’m nice…anybody that knows me knows I love to play around and joke around; I’m a silly guy. But when it’s time to play, I just flip that switch,” Brown explained. “I just like having that killer instinct…I just like making big plays. And then the fans – that really makes me motivated to go crazy during the games. I just flip the script immediately when I get on the field.”
Brown also understands the kind of player he is on the field, and the skill set he possesses, at this moment (keeping in mind, he’s still just a sophomore in high school).
“I feel like I’ve gotta get better at my speed, but I think I do a good job, at my size, with my footwork and using my hands,” Spencer said of some positives and negatives to his game. “But now I want to experience what my body looks like at the college level.”
“I know I’m dominating, but I want to dominate more. I want to get myself to where I’m college-ready right now.”
His physical ambition speaks for itself…so does his academic ambition.
“I’m a 2.8 student; that’s why I really transferred to Walled Lake Western – it’s not really a big thing about ‘football, football, football’ – I feel like they have programs here where they can help me academically. That’s why I chose Walled Western, too, because they can help me, not only be an athlete, but a student-athlete,” Brown admitted.
“I feel like, if I apply myself more, honestly I could be a 4.0 student,” he continued. “But that’s why I’m gonna strive to set goals for myself, like 3.0, then hit 3.5, then try to get 3.7 - so when I come here, I think I’m gonna be more serious…not just a football player, just an all-around great person and just have fun – just be a great student-athlete.”
Brown’s drive to keep up a solid combination of body and mind derives from wanting to be a part of the Michigan State football program, with a head coach he’s admired.
“What I like about [Mark] Dantonio is he doesn’t care if you’re a one-star, two-star, three-star…from Canada, Germany, anywhere – the best players are going to play,” Spencer said. “This year, they had a whole bunch of freshmen playing and it was just, like, ‘next man up,’ so I just like somewhere where ‘next man up’ and the best player’s gonna play and is gonna get treated fair.”
He continued, “They didn’t quit…even though they had a 3-9 season, they still didn’t quit. I want to be with a program where they’re gonna fight; they’re not going to say, ‘We’re going 3-9…it doesn’t matter at this point.’ I just want to go somewhere that they’re trying to win every game, and somewhere that can put up a fight.”
Even as he continues to mature and grow, at the end of the day, it all comes back to Michigan State for Spencer Brown.
“I’m just trying to get to the next level, and that’s all I really care about. I just care about getting myself in a position for me to play at Michigan State…that’s it,” Brown said.
So keep an eye out Spartan Nation…2019 may be far away, but Spencer Brown might be a part of the Michigan State family before you know it.
“If I get the offer, I just really want to be a Spartan; that’s really where I want to go,” Brown admitted. “I’ll look at other offers, but that’s the school I really want to go to. I just want to be a Spartan!”