Spencer Made Sure Before Deciding

When he looks back on it now, Evan Spencer realizes that there was no place he would rather be than Ohio State. Just to be sure, however, the four-star wide receiver looked around and did his research before issuing a verbal commitment to the Buckeyes.

Evan Spencer always knew he was an Ohio State fan at heart, but that did not stop him from looking around before issuing a verbal commitment.

The four-star wide receiver prospect is a member of OSU's class of 2011, giving his pledge in early June, and the son of former running back and assistant coach Tim Spencer. Before he decided to become a Buckeye, however, the younger Spencer considered becoming a Hawkeye as well as a number of different schools.

His final decision came down to OSU and Iowa, and he selected the Buckeyes after taking two visits to Iowa City and one to Columbus. He checked out spring games at both schools and also went to a junior day hosted by the Hawkeyes.

"I know that other teams probably looked at it and said, ‘Well yeah, we're not going to get him' but through the whole recruiting process I was completely open-minded," he said. "Once I went back to Ohio State and went to a camp and saw the campus and everything I just realized that I grew up there and there's no place I'd rather be or where I'd fit in like I do there."

That bloodline had a lot to do with the younger Spencer eventually opting to join the Buckeyes. It might have also hampered the efforts of other schools in their recruitment efforts.

In March, Vernon Hills, Ill., head coach Tony Monken said he felt Spencer's alma mater might be scaring off some teams from issuing a scholarship offer to the wide receiver

He held a number of offers, including some from the likes of Notre Dame, Iowa, Oregon and Wisconsin, but it was a figure that could have been higher.

In the wideout's mind, a number of schools prematurely crossed themselves off his list.

"Oh there's no doubt in my mind that (my dad's background) did (scare some schools off), but what I've always said throughout the process was if somebody wants to think that, that ‘we're not going to offer him just because he's a lock,' I probably wouldn't like that place and want to go there anyway," he said. "If that's the way they think, that's not my place to be."

Spencer was not the only senior wide receiver for Vernon Hills with a tie to the NFL. Although his father is in his seventh season as an assistant coach for the Chicago Bears, also lining up out wide was four-star wide receiver prospect DaVaris Daniels, a Notre Dame verbal commitment.

His dad is Phillip Daniels, a defensive end for the NFL's Washington Redskins. Monken said it is Daniels who asked more often about his famous dad.

"Other than us and you guys in Columbus, there's not too many people who know who Tim is other than the Bears running backs coach," the coach said. "The dads know. We know. It doesn't have quite the effect of if he was an active player right now. Certainly the coaches in the league know the bloodline."

Of the two, Spencer comes in ranked No. 20 nationally by Scout.com with Daniels five spots behind.

"Him and DaVaris both came into our program with such great instincts," Monken said. "They (did) things as sophomores and juniors that I've had seniors that have never figured out."

Spencer said he had hoped to graduate early and get a head start on his OSU career but that his mom nixed the idea. He will arrive on campus in June and start the process of living up to his last name.

It will not be an easy task, but the future Buckeye said he is looking forward to the challenge.

"I know Ohio State fans might expect a lot so I'm going to try my hardest to live up to and surpass my dad's name, but I know how much of a challenge it is," he said. "I'm sure it's going to be everyone talking about, ‘Oh, he's not this, he's not that,' but I don't really care."

As Spencer pointed out, when he plays the video game NCAA Football and has to play against the Buckeyes, he refuses.

"When I look at it now, I think it would've been damn near impossible for me not to play at Ohio State," he said. "It would have been very hard to get over it as I look at it now. I'm extremely ecstatic about the choice that I made and I can't wait to get there and show you guys what I can do."

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