Spooner Could Be In South Bend More Often

Mike Spooner's first visit to Notre Dame was for a basketball camp back in fifth grade. He made it back six years later for the Notre Dame-Army football game this past Nov. 18. One of the best linebackers in the 2008 recruiting class, Spooner's South Bend visits could become more frequent, as the Irish are sending the St. Edwards (Ohio) standout a ton of mail.

"They've been sending me stuff on a weekly basis," the 6-foot-1, 215-pound Spooner said. "I got game invites during the season. Now I'm just getting updates about the team and what they're doing. The last one wished me a Merry Christmas."

Spooner didn't catch the post-game excitement surrounding Irish quarterback Brady Quinn and the rest of the seniors while at the Army game, but he did notice the campus has changed a bit since the last time he was in town.

"I thought it was awesome," he said. "It's been awhile, but I could tell a lot of things have been done. The stadium and the facilities were awesome."

Spooner was awesome for St. Edwards. The Rocky River, Ohio product was the second-leading tackler on a team stocked with Division I talent. Ohio State bound Nate Oliver led the team from his safety spot. A middle linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, Spooner racked up 62 tackles, 10 for loss, with a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and an interception.

A stress fracture in his back caused Spooner to miss a game, and slowed him during a couple weeks of practice. By the end of the season, he was back to 100 percent.

"Overall it was a pretty good year," Spooner said. "We came up a little short in the playoffs, we lost in the second round. From that point it was a little disappointing but we have another year to win a state championship."

Spooner will have another year to make a college decision. He doesn't have an offer yet, but Notre Dame, Boston College and Louisville have been flooding the mail box. Ohio State has been blowing up his phone with text messages.

"Those are the schools keeping the most touch as far as mail and text messages," Spooner said.

Spooner didn't attend any camps or combines this past summer. He has actually hung up the basketball shoes to focus on camps and combines. He'll be in San Antonio, Jan. 4-6, for the U.S. Army All-American Combine.

He went to a combine at Pittsburgh his sophomore year. Nothing official, but Spooner says he runs around a 4.85 40-yard dash, and can bench press around 300 pounds. He couldn't squat this year with his back injury, but last year, he could get around 430 pounds.

Spooner is going run track this spring to work on his speed for those upcoming camps and combines.

"I'll go to the Nike combine wherever that's going to be," Spooner said. "I'll probably go to some college camps depending on interest."

Notre Dame is certainly in the mix.

"They are very high," Spooner said. "If they were to offer, they'd be one of my top choices."

The back injury limited Spooner to just defense this past season. He expects to play both ways again as a senior.

"I had one catch in one game," he said. "I got hurt and got a little behind on things. I just ended up focusing on defense. Next year I'll be somewhere on offense. I'll play tight end, fullback or an h-back position."

Spooner's father played baseball at Purdue, and his brother Alex is a sophomore tight end at Cornell. With all the talent on his high school team (notably, linebacker Diauntae Morrow is going to Iowa, tight end Kyle Hubbard is off to Pittsburgh and running back Frank Edmonds made a verbal to Ball State) and witnessing his brother's recruitment, Spooner has a good idea about the process.

"There has been a lot of coaches the past couple weeks in to see those guys," Spooner said. "Besides them, there is at least three more kids looking at Division-1AA schools.

Spooner has a 3.85 GPA and is thinking about studying business in college. Notre Dame could be the place.

"I think it would be nice to have a decision done before senior year, but I don't know if it will be possible," Spooner said. "I don't know if I will have that many choices by then."


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