Spencer More Than Just A Buckeye Legacy

Tim Spencer enjoyed a standout career at Ohio State. His son, Evan, is preparing for his senior season and is being recruited by a number of schools including his dad's alma mater. Evan's head coach discusses the Buckeye connection and what sort of effect OSU's offer has had on Evan's recruitment.

Ever since Ohio State issued a scholarship offer to Evan Spencer, the assumption has been that the four-star wide receiver prospect would eventually become a Buckeye. But as Spencer enters his senior season at Vernon Hills, Ill., his head coach said that is not necessarily the case.

"I do know that I feel there's a lot of questions from a lot of different coaches: ‘Is he set on going to Ohio State well before he was offered?' " Tony Monken told BuckeyeSports.com. "I've said all along, there's no question that he has been brought up an Ohio State fan and that there's definitely some feelings about Ohio Sate, but at the same time we've talked and have said there's not going to be any decisions made until spring recruiting is done this year."

Spencer is the son of Tim Spencer, a former OSU running back and assistant coach who now is an assistant coach with the Chicago Bears. The two were on hand for OSU's spring game, signing autographs and posing for pictures.

Tim donned a scarlet Buckeye hat, while Evan wore a white t-shirt without a team logo.

"We all have our favorites, but at the end of the day you've got to find what's the best fit for you," Monken said. "I think he has a great understanding of that and having dad around has helped that. I think I'm more of a re-enforcer. I just reinforce the things they've talked about already."

A four-star prospect, Spencer also took in Iowa's spring game – another team that has offered him a scholarship. He also holds offers from Illinois, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Wisconsin, among others.

Scout lists him the No. 19 wide receiver in the nation, but he can play multiple positions. As a junior, he led the team in receiving yards and scoring, tied for the team lead in interceptions and was second on the team in rushing. Monken said Spencer lined up at wide receiver, running back, quarterback, free safety, strong safety, cornerback, kick returner and punt returner last season.

Among those roles, Monken said Spencer's greatest potential lies at wide receiver.

"I think he's exciting to watch as a wide receiver because of the way he goes and gets the football," the coach said. "He catches the ball away from his body. He's a strong runner when he has it in his hands and he can run away from anybody at our level."

However, Monken added that Spencer has the skills to be a solid cornerback as well.

"As a defensive back, every time I saw him last year he was more aggressive than the last game," the coach said. "He plays the ball high. He's got a great break on the ball. He's quick out of the backpedal and accelerating forward. I think he could fit into a scheme very well as a corner or safety, but I think he's a lot of fun to watch when he has the ball in his hands."

As a result, some teams – Notre Dame, for one – are recruiting him as an athlete rather than simply for one position. The Buckeyes view him as a wide receiver. Monken said he wants to see Spencer improve from a blocking standpoint as he enters his senior season.

Although Spencer is keeping his options open, Monken said he did not disregard the offer from the Buckeyes.

"I know he was excited to get it," the coach said. "He was really excited to get it. I think that was one that he definitely wanted to get. Now whether he winds up choosing there at the end of the day or not, I don't know, but he definitely wanted to be able to say he had gotten offered from the place where dad went."

The plan for Spencer's recruitment is to first narrow his list before making a final selection. Whether the Buckeyes will be on that list remains to be seen.

"I think you're silly to be closed-minded and not to see what's out there and find a good fit for you," his coach said.

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