Future Forecast: Evan Spencer

With good size (6-1, 185) and great speed, the four-star recruit from Vernon Hills, Ill., is thought of as a potential college standout on either side of the ball, but his junior film shows many ways he could help Ohio State as a receiver or perhaps a return man.

Evan Spencer is the type of smooth, all-around athlete no college football team can ever get enough of.

Spencer makes yards on fly routes, fades and routes over the middle and in the flats.

The 6-1, 185-pound four-star prospect catches the ball with his hands out away from his body, shows the ability to adjust to the ball in the air and a willingness to go get the pigskin when it is up for grabs.

Though he should never be confused for an I-formation tailback in the mold of his father, Tim, the younger Spencer also looks comfortable running off tackle, outside and even occasionally up the middle in the multifaceted Vernon Hills offense.

Space, however, is where Evan Spencer excels because of tremendous quickness and the ability to change directions on the fly.

In the open field, Spencer has some shake to his shoulders that helps create room to operate, and he is strong enough to run through arm tackles and quick enough explode through a sea group of defenders before they can converge.

He is not a physical runner but does not shy from contact, showing a willingness to lower his shoulder to fight for extra yards along the sideline.

To top it all off, Spencer shows himself to be a willing blocker, even mixing it up with defensive ends on a couple of running plays.

So when might Buckeye fans get to enjoy seeing this second-generation talent start to burn up the Ohio Stadium FieldTurf?

Spencer will join a group of talented but relatively young receivers when he arrives along with fellow current verbal commitment Devin Smith of Massillon (Ohio) Washington in 2011.

How much playing time will be available figures to be affected greatly by how much success redshirt freshmen James Jackson and Chris Fields along with 2010 signees James Louis, T.Y. Williams and Corey Brown enjoy this fall, but wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell is not averse to playing his best players regardless of age.

Smith and Spencer have the look of nice complements to each other with Smith perhaps a deep threat and Spencer working underneath.

Additionally, because Jim Tressel has shown in the past a selective willingness to diversify his offense, watching Spencer and fellow verbal commitment Braxton Miller come of age together could be quite interesting.

There is not a throw Miller, a five-star quarterback prospect from Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne, cannot make, a fact that could mean Spencer's multiple talents have a better chance of being fully utilized if the two develop as expected.


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