Spencer: 'It's a New Challenge'

Leland (NC) wide receiver Owen Spencer had been hearing the rumblings, but he was still shocked when NC State head coach Chuck Amato was fired last month.

Leland (NC) wide receiver Owen Spencer had been hearing the rumblings, but he was still shocked when NC State head coach Chuck Amato was fired last month.

"It was just so quick," said Spencer. "The last time I heard about him being gone was last year, but he came back and I think he just had to have a good year this season. It still shocked me how fast it ended. It was a shock, but I think almost every coach goes through it. Maybe it will be a good move for him and NC State in the long run.

"I still think it was a move NC State felt they had to make. Whatever is good for the team is what they have to do. Every school goes through it, and they took a chance and I think they got a good coach. It's a good move."

Spencer stated that he followed the coaching search, but was still surprised when it was announced that Tom O'Brien would be the new head coach.

"Being committed to NC State, I followed it as much as I could," he said. "I think a lot of coaches were in line for the job, and it seemed like there were a lot of good names out there. I was surprised when it started coming out that it was coach O'Brien, but it was official for me until this weekend when I went up to State."

Spencer originally inked with the Wolfpack in February but transcript issues delayed his enrollment for a semester. This past weekend he made a visit up to NC State for freshman orientation.

"I went up for orientation this weekend," said Spencer. "I had a chance to talk with the academic coordinator, and they said it was official for coach O'Brien.

"I move in the sixth of January. I'm ready to get up there. It's a new challenge for me, and it will be good to get away from my hometown. I'm ready for a change in atmosphere. It's real exciting."

What does Spencer think of new NC State head coach Tom O'Brien?

"He's an offensive coach," said Spencer. "I haven't watched Boston College play too much, but I did see them play against State. I think they have a good grasp on what they want to do offensively. I know he's a good coach, and I like that he has an offensive background.

"What I know most about him at Boston College is they know how to win. They were one of the top teams in the ACC this year, and I don't think anyone expected that. I think it shows people that he is a winner."

Although he was surprised to see coach Amato and coach Dixon, his recruiting coach, let go, Spencer remains solid in his decision to attend NC State. He believes it is a chance for NC State to have a fresh start.

"I'm coming in with a new coach and offensive coordinator," said Spencer. "That's kind of what I wanted to see was a change. Everything is fresh. It's not going to be anything about last year, and it should be exciting because everyone will have a clean slate. It's going to be a good experience for the entire team."

Strengths: Spencer is a great vertical threat, and he has excellent deep speed. He will get over the top of defenders in man-coverage and shows the ability to separate and track down the ball in the air. He has big, soft hands, and can adust to poor passes.

The North Brunswick star can catch over his head and makes a lot of acrobatic catches in the vertical passing game. He also has the ability to pluck on the run and does a good job of "snatching" the ball before it gets into his pads. He is explosive as a vertical route runner and routinely runs away from defenders once he gets in front of them. He is tough and isn't afraid of going over the middle.

Obviously, Spencer will benefit from a college strength program, as he needs to add weight to his frame. But, he has all the tools necessary to succeed at the next level.

Stats: As a senior, Spencer caught 42 passes for 748 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior. Last season, Spencer led the Scorpions to a 10-2 record (7-0 conference). He posted astounding numbers, as he caught 30 passes for 802 yards (26.7 yards per catch) and 13 touchdowns, nearly a touchdown every two receptions.

Spencer Quotable: "I have speed, and ability to go get the ball and dominate any defender – I'm able to get separation."

Owen Spencer:

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