Visit to Lincoln will be in May

Nebraska is looking for a big, athletic target at the tight end position. Nebraska has been in need of landing a "stretch the field" type tight end for a while now, under Bill Callahan. Nebraska is targeting a Missouri product that is very familiar with Nebraska football and it's tradition. It looks like Nebraska will be getting a visit from this recruit next month.

The spring time is really the first season that Spender Ladner will have some sort of down time. The 6-foot-7 and 240-pound tight end from Kansas City (Mo.) Pembroke Hill enjoyed a lot of success on the basketball court recently.

"We actually had a pretty good basketball season this year," Ladner said. "We finished second in the state. I got first team all-state and second team all-metro."

After the winter sport season, Ladner just heads back into the weight room to get ready for the fall. He has some things that he is working on, especially weight to his frame. He is about 20 pounds away from where he wants to be.

"In the spring I usually just work out. I work out on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. I am working on overall size, getting bigger, get up to about 250 and my quickness. I am about 240 now."

While Ladner is nearing 240 pounds, he still has 4.65/40 speed. On film, that really has to stand out to college coaches. You also have to notice his ability to catch the football.

"I would say definitely my speed, quickness and my ability to catch the football. I'd say that by seeing my hands on tape is what sets me apart from so many other players and it's why I have so many offers."

Last year, Ladner ended the season with 620 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns. It was a solid year, but in the end the lack of team success probably kept Ladner's abilities a little over-looked.

"I actually only got all-district. I didn't get all-state or anything. Our team went 5-5 and I kind of just wasn't noticed at all. It's a little tougher to get noticed on teams that don't have good seasons."

Despite a bad year last year for Pembroke Hill, Ladner is enjoying some attention in the recruiting process. He has recently picked up three new offers bringing his offer total now into the double-digits.

"Recruiting is going really good right now. It died down for a little bit, but I just recently picked up three more offers. I am up to 11 offers right now."

"My offers are from Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska, Duke, Washington State, Clemson, Wisconsin, Iowa, Cal and Illinois."

Ladner was unable to attend the spring game in Lincoln a couple of weeks ago, but was able to take in another spring game last weekend. He is looking to re-schedule that visit to Lincoln and take one other in May.

"I did take a spring game trip to Wisconsin last weekend. I am looking to take some other visits to some schools in May and this summer. I would like to visit Nebraska and maybe Cal in May."

Spencer's brother, Ben, is a defensive tackle at Stanford. While everything is fine for Ben at Stanford, Spencer said that he really would like to make a name for himself at another school.

"I actually have no interest in Stanford right now. I kind of want to set myself apart. I didn't send a tape there and really don't have any interest. I kind of want to go somewhere else."

The Nebraska offer was a little unexpected, per Ladner. While it was surprising it was also a bit of an honor for him to know that he was able to go and play for a program like Nebraska.

"It was big. I got in the mail without getting any type of warning saying I was going to get it. It was a big surprise. I was real excited."

"Growing up in the Kansas City area and being a fan of Big XII football it's a big deal. Nebraska was huge in the '90s and it still is. It's great to know that I can play for that kind of program."

Ladner did grow up a fan of Kansas. He actually has some pretty impressive ties to Kansas from his parents' days back in college to today. Despite those ties, Ladner doesn't feel pressured at all to eventually become a Jayhawk, but he admits that they are a team that he is strongly considering.

"I actually grew up a Kansas fan. Both of my parents went there. My dad played basketball there. My mom still works there, actually. I always grew up a Kansas fan."

"No, not really. They're completely separate to my decision. They are still a player and I might choose to go there, but it won't be because of my dad or mom."

Besides some trips in the month of May and later this summer, Ladner is looking to take in a couple of combines in the coming months. "I am going to the combine on May 14. I am going to the Nike combine in Oregon on June 9."

Big Red Report Top Stories