2008 Focus: Darius Spencer

ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- The focus of every combine is on how fast a player can run in the 40-yard dash.

Hope Mills (NC) Gray's Creek tailback Marquan Brown and Matthews (NC) Butler defensive back Spencer Adams have posted blistering times already at the two previous Shrine Bowl combines. Asheville (NC) A.C. Reynolds star Darius Spencer did the same last spring, and he'll be looking to repeat his performance on April 14th.

As a rising junior, Spencer attended the 2006 Shrine Bowl combine held at A.C. Reynolds. He ripped off a 4.34 and a 4.35 in the 40-yard dash, while also posting a 4.33 pro shuttle, a 33.9-inch vertical jumps, and 13 reps of 185 pounds on the bench.

The Shrine Bowl combine returns to Asheville next week, and Spencer is ready.

"The last time I was timed I ran a 4.27," he said. "That was out here on the grass. I ran a 4.34 at the Shrine Bowl combine we had here last year. We ran that on our track. I'll be doing better than that the next time I run though."

Spencer is coming off a strong junior season. He rushed for 1,300 yards and 18 touchdowns to earn all-conference honors. He also was a standout at cornerback, and he is being recruited as an athlete.

"I think Darius is more of a running back, and you'll see that on the tape," said A.C. Reynolds assistant coach Larry Brown. "He can really run with the football. If he works hard, I think by his sophomore year he'll be close to 200 pounds.

"You'll see. With his speed at 4.35 and his size, he can carry it for us and I think he could be a back on that level."

Spencer has already picked up a couple of offers and is attracting attention from a host of suitors.

"NC State and ECU have offered me," he said. "Penn State is on me, and so is Clemson, Florida State, and Virginia Tech."

Spencer has yet to hear from his dream school.

"I want to go to Tennessee," he said. "But I haven't got anything from them yet."

What does he like about the Pirates?

"I wasn't even on the field, but I felt the excitement."
"They have a great atmosphere," said Spencer. "I went down with a friend of mine and the coaches seemed nice. It's a good program."

Spencer was originally extended an offer by Chuck Amato at NC State, and he stated the offer has been confirmed by Tom O'Brien and the new Wolfpack coaching staff.

"I talked to the NC State coach in late December, and he was talking about the new coaching staff," said Spencer . "They wanted me to know that I still had the offer from them. They wanted me to come up to their Junior Day, but I couldn't make it."

"I liked the old head coach, but I haven't met the new one," he added. "I do like what I hear about him. I was down there for the Boston College game. It was good. The crowd went wild. I wasn't even on the field, but I felt the excitement."

Spencer is hoping to attend a couple of spring games before attending camps in the summer.

"I want to go to NC State's Spring Game," he said. "I also want to try and get out to Georgia."

Don't expect a quick decision from Spencer. He is going to explore his options prior to making a verbal commitment.

"I'm not looking to pick a school right now," he said. "I'm trying to wait to see what else opens up for me and the playing time that I'll get."

A.C. Reynolds head coach Steve McCurry left at the end of the season and the school is in the process of choosing a new coach. Assistant Larry Brow stated that Spencer will be a focal point of the offense under the new coach but that he still has some work to do in the classroom.

"He still has to get his grades in order," said Brow. "Darius is a great kid, but he does have some work to do in that area."

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