Dating back to the second month of this year, Stephenville , Texas ( Stephenville High) prep quarterback had made his decision, and it was simply a matter of enjoying his senior season, waiting only to enroll at Oklahoma State in early January.
That was the plan, anyway.
It wasn't until recently, as his season was over, and he was getting ready to make that next step, he found that the next step didn't exist anymore.
Perhaps simply by a matter of bad math, Oklahoma State underestimated the amount of scholarship players they would have on campus when Spano was set to arrive. There was room for one additional player to come in early, but Kody found out that he wasn't high man on the totem pole.
He was asked if he could basically walk-on, pay his own way and come the next academic year, they would be able to then start him on scholarship.
Can you figure how that went over?
Yeah, I assumed you might.
Spano was crushed. This was what he had planned on doing all along. Moreover, it wasn't just about Oklahoma State . Regardless where he went, this idea that he would enroll early, was something he planned on doing years ago. Not even two months before signing day on February 6th of 2008, this was more than a little inconvenient. It was panic time.
"I didn't know what I was going to do. I didn't know where I was going to go," Kody said of exploring his alternatives after he had been given the news. "After I committed to OSU, there wasn't anyone who came after me. That was a long time ago, so I was really worried about that. But my coaches, family and everyone said not to worry, that there would be teams who were interested."
They were right.
The very day after Kody was given the bad news by Oklahoma State , two teams didn't waste any time getting in there to show him that they wanted him as a part of their team. One was Tulsa and the other was Nebraska .
Tulsa was already a familiar team to Spano as one of his high school coaches is good friends with some of the coaches of the Golden Hurricane. But Nebraska , that's a bit of a different story. When the call came and the offer came with it, Spano admitted to being a little shocked.
"I was psyched. Man, I was pumped, because you go from not knowing if you will have any choices to having choices like Tulsa and now, Nebraska," he said. "They had actually called me and left a message, because I wouldn't answer my phone due to all the people calling me, who I didn't even know.
"When I finally got a chance to talk to coach (Shawn) Watson, I was pretty pumped."
It's no secret that Nebraska has been on the lookout for another quarterback. They have two (Joe Ganz & Beau Davis) going into their senior year this next season, and they have another (Zach Lee) who will be going into his junior year, but has yet to play. The only youngster at the position will be redshirt freshman Patrick Witt.
Nebraska seemed to have addressed that need with the early commitment of Parkway West QB Blaine Gabbert. However, following the staff changes in Lincoln , Gabbert opted not to wait the process out and changed his mind as he is now heading to Missouri . That leaves an obvious option open to Spano, especially considering he would have the luxury, wherever he decides to go, in enrolling in probably less than a couple of weeks.
That doesn't give Kody much time to consider what he's going to do or where he's going to go. But considering his position, he obviously has some criteria he hopes his future team can meet.
"Well, he ran the spread here, but it was really a 50/50 offense between the run and the pass. I'd obviously like to go to an offense I fit in, but I know I will have a lot to learn no matter what. So, it doesn't have to be exactly what I ran for me to feel like I can have some success," he said.
That would be an adjustment for Spano, should he opt to head for the land of corn. The West Coast offense does have a hint of spread in it, and the quarterback certainly has moments and even drives, where the team runs strictly out of the gun. But with a pro-style attack which wants to establish the running-game so that everything else can work, the quarterback ideally lines up under center.
That would be a new one for the Stephenville QB.
"I've always ran the spread, and we have always been out of the gun," Kody said. "It's just something you would have to get used to, but there's a lot you have to learn when you make that jump up to college," he said. "I don't think I'd have any problems with that. One of my biggest strengths is being able to move with the ball."
It's not common to hear a spread QB say that. You'd be hard pressed to think of the last Texas Tech quarterback who said he was as inclined to run in certain situations as he was to sit back and try to find an open man.
That's Spano, though, and his 442 yards rushing and 11 scores during his senior season, would probably bare that out. "I think I am able to make something happen when the play breaks down in the pocket. I look down field for someone to hit, but I think I have a pretty good idea of knowing when to pull it down and go," he said.
Of course, the rushing statistics are nice, but in just about every spread offense outside of West Virginia , your passing numbers better be even more so. That's a big checkmark for Kody also, the Yellow Jacket QB completing over 62 percent of his passes, throwing 23 completions for scores against only nine interceptions, and totaling 2,250 yards.
In addition, there is one bonus which might not be considered initially, but with the success of players like Chase Daniel out of Missouri and Todd Reesing out of Kansas , it is something that might actually come up.
He's over six feet tall.
With more and more teams going to the spread, the popular prototype-player under center seems to be somewhat in contradiction to the model in the professional ranks. Tall isn't terrific, bigger isn't better, and you don't need to be a Manning or a Brady to win games.
Spano might not stand 6-5, but 6-2 is more than good enough, especially considering the fact that Nebraska hasn't had a starting quarterback taller than that since Jammal Lord, who started for the Huskers in 2002 and 2003.
But for the New Jersey native, throwing wasn't necessarily his cup of tea.
When it comes to Spano's potential, that seems to be obvious. He doesn't have the glaring numbers of some, but he's as consistent as most and better yet, he's got versatility both inside and outside the pocket.
With his ability obvious, now the only question seems to be pertaining to where he's going to be utilizing it at the Division 1-A level.
Kody says he doesn't know, but he knows he doesn't have a lot of time. He's just going to sit down, try to enjoy the holidays and then consider what to do next.
"It's great to have the choices I have, because I honestly didn't think I was going to have them after it had been so long since I was a recruit," he said. "But I do, and we'll have to sit down and think about everything. It's not as easy as it was the first time, because we really looked into everything and then made the choice.
"But I'm confident that we can get it figured out, and I'll have a really good idea of just where I want to be."