Class of 2012 Introduction: Spencer Stanley

There were a handful of Class of 2012 prospects that stood out at the recent SMU camps and one in particular was defensive end Spencer Stanley of Trinity Valley (Fort Worth). As a sophomore, Stanley starred on both sides of the football for a team that reached the pinnacle of its private school league.

There were a handful of Class of 2012 prospects that stood out at the recent SMU camps and one in particular was defensive end Spencer Stanley of Trinity Valley (Fort Worth). As a sophomore, Stanley starred on both sides of the football for a team that reached the pinnacle of its private school league.

"We're a school with an enrollment of approximately 1,000 students," Stanley said. "We play in the Southwest Preparatory Conference, also known as the SPC. It's a league with about 30 teams located in both Texas and Oklahoma.

"Last year, you could say that we won the championship, although it was a format that was a little unfair to the other schools. There's basically a championship in which the top two teams play each other. We haven't had playoffs, but there might be a new format with playoffs in place for this season."

In 2009, Spencer and Trinity Valley went 10-1 and handed a loaded Arlington Oakridge School its only two losses.

"We played Oakridge in the championship game," Stanley said, "and it was really an undersized team (Trinity Valley) against a team that featured three Division 1 signees. Oakridge had three players that ended up signing with BYU. Their receiver, Ross Apo, could have gone anywhere he wanted for college, but he's of the Morman faith and so he decided on BYU. He was really tough on our corners, but we had a guy named Jackson Mollina who was able to shut him down in the second half of that game.

"It was fierce competition against Oakridge, but we had the will to win and the heart to win. In the first half, it was an offensive shootout. The game went back and forth. In the second half, the defenses for both teams stepped up."

Thanks in large part to Stanley's efforts, Trinity Valley prevailed 40-35 in the title game. In the first meeting between the Trojans and Oakridge, Trinity Valley won 35-12. In each game, Stanley faced the arduous task of dealing with Oakridge's Tayo Fabuluje on both sides of the football.

"I went up against him the entire game," said Stanley of the BYU signee. "On offense, I was at tackle. He was 6-foot-7 and 275 pounds, but I didn't allow a sack against him. I gained confidence as a result of that game, because I was the only underclassman on the line."

Stanley, who is currently a shade under 6-foot-4 (and 235 pounds), has been hitting the camp circuit hard this summer.

"The SMU camp was absolutely great," he said. "I really liked working with Coach (Bert) Hill, the defensive line coach at SMU. I felt like I was able to show what I could do at that camp.

"I've also been to camps this summer at TCU, Rice, and Baylor. I feel like I performed well at the TCU and Rice camps. The TCU camp was flooded with players after they were able to reach a BCS bowl last season. At the Baylor camp - which was the last one I attended -- the coaches put me in one-on-one drills with players in my class at first, but after I did really well, they grouped me with the seniors. That was exciting."

Stanley expects a similar strong season this year for Trinity Valley.

"We only lost five starters - and our quarterback is back - so we have a good chance to repeat," he said. "I see myself as a defensive end in college, but I also think I could play tight end. I have great hands. I run a 5.0 in the 40-yard dash, so I wouldn't be the fastest tight end, but I think that I'd be a good blocking tight end. I'll play wherever coaches want me to play, whatever helps my team."


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