Spence Feels He Could Fit At NU

De La Salle (IL) sophomore quarterback Shelby Spence took in Northwestern's Saturday scrimmage and was dazzled while watching the Wildcats' first-team offense in action. He discusses the visit, plus what's next, in this PurpleWildcats.com recruiting update.

While watching Kain Colter run the first-team offense at Northwestern's first inter-squad spring scrimmage Saturday, class of 2014 De La Salle (IL) quarterback Shelby Spence liked what he saw.

"I definitely think that my skills translate well to the spread offense that Coach McCall runs here," he said.

At 6-foot-1, 180-pounds, and with sub 4.6 speed, Spence—despite being just a sophomore—already has the makings of a Colter-heir apparent. But the dual-threat signal-caller insists that offensive scheme won't be a large factor in his decision.

"I see myself as a schematically diverse player, I think I can play in any system really. I think I have the skills to help a variety of different offenses, whether that's pro-style or the spread"

Besides NU, Spence has received interest from Illinois, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Michigan and Miami, among others. He recently attended the Badgers' spring practice, and plans to make several visits in the coming weeks.

While Spence is just beginning his high school football career, he is already developing a reputation as one of Chicago's most intriguing quarterback prospects. In a week 4 game against St. Ignatius, Spence threw for 270 yards and four touchdowns in a, 37-7, win over St. Ignatius.

"It's still really early at this point, I don't have any favorites yet."

Spence spent time with NU offensive coordinator Mick McCall while on his unofficial visit Saturday. McCall allowed Spence to sit in as he broke down film with the quarterbacks and receivers. Spence spoke highly of his experience with McCall.

"I feel like I learned a lot from the visit," he said. "Coach McCall was great, he let me go into the quarterbacks position meeting and did some film work. It was also nice to spend some time with the receivers, they're a great group of guys"

The prospect of playing in McCall's spread offense—which figures to maximize his dual-threat capabilities—is enticing for Spence, but he said that most attractive feature of NU is their academic standards. His impressive 4.8 GPA is indicative of that stated commitment to academic success.

"Academics are a huge part of the equation for me," he said. "When I'm ready to make that decision, I'll know that it's the best fit both academically and athletically."

Although he failed to reveal any favorites, he indicated that he could see himself playing in the Big Ten.

"I'm pretty open to anything in the country," he said. "But I definitely think that the Big Ten would be a good fit. It's always exciting to have interest from Big Ten schools, especially from those with academic prestige."

Spence plans to return to Evanston for a camp this summer, before which he plans to work on improving his lateral strength, throwing motion and release.

"I had a good visit already, so I'm excited to go back."

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