Coach Speak: Andrew Spence

Andrew Spence gave a verbal commitment to Syracuse on Friday. What are the Orange getting in the Sunshine State cornerback? We spoke to his high school position coach to find out.

Andrew Spence was not a familiar name to most Syracuse fans when he committed on Friday. His high school position coach, David Cooney, gave him high praise.

"He's a very physical presence at corner," Cooney said. "He's tall, rangy and has very good speed. He really fits the mold of what Syracuse wants to do on defense in the ACC. Everybody wants those bigger receivers, so he'll be able to get up on the line with them. He's 6-foot-2, 190-pounds. You can see him on tape when he matches up with one of the top receivers in 2016 and gets in his face and it's a done deal.

"He has very good hips for his size. Very fluid. That's why coach (George) McDonald was really high on getting him to join him up there. He was really instrumental in his recruitment trying to get him on board. The kid fell in love with what he was saying, so he locked himself in."

As with all high school prospects, there are areas of Spence's game that can use refining as he eyes division one football.

"He can work a little bit on off-man coverage," Cooney said. "You can't run bump-and-run every play. So he has to work on his off-man coverage. Work on his ball skills when the ball is in the air. Come down with more interceptions. He had four last year, but when that ball is in the air, going up and attacking the ball.

"That's something he needs to improve on. Then the top end speed as well. There's a lot of fast guys out there. He has really good speed, but he's not elite. His physicality is what's going to help him on the next level."

Cooney believes Spence has a very high ceiling. In fact, he believes he could be playing on Sundays in the future.

"I think he has the ability to be one of those top round guys," Cooney said. "He has unlimited potential. Potential is one of those things that everybody has, but if he maxes out with his physicality and his frame, he could be a potential NFL guy."

Off the field, Spence is an introverted kid who leads with his actions rather than his words.

"He's very humble," Cooney said. "He's a very quiet kid. He lost his mom at a young age so he's kind of the man of the house. He helps his mom with everything. At times, he's a little reserved. He's one of those lead by example kind of guys. He's not a ra-ra type of guy. But he has the capabilities of being a leader."

Cooney added that he is a good student and should have no problem qualifying.

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