Spence Anxious for First Offer

A scholarship offer could be all it takes to earn Mike Spence's services in 2008. See what the Canada high school star had to say about his recruiting…

Mike Spence laid things out pretty simply.

"Wyoming is near the top of my list, but right now I am receiving more attention from other schools," he said in an email on Tuesday. "However, if they step up my recruitment, they will be my number one."

Then he made things even simpler.

"I would like to commit early, so my first offer will most likely be the school I will choose," he said.

That levels the playing field for the Cowboys and every other team showing interest in Spence, who is still waiting for his first offer.

"My top schools right now would have to be UNLV, Stanford, Wyoming, Iowa State, and Toledo," he said.

Spence, who is finishing up his junior year at Nelson High School in Burlington, Ontario, said that Canadians traditionally don't receive scholarship offers until late in the recruiting process, but he is anxious to get his college decision out of the way.

"I want to…focus on my senior season," he said. "Also, I am graduating in January of '09, so I would like to get on campus for second semester and start training with the team and taking part in spring camp."

At 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, Spence is being recruited as a safety, but he has played linebacker for most of his high school career.

"Being an undersized linebacker in high school has taught me how to get off blocks really well which I think will help me at the next level," he said. "It also gives me the ability to help in run support."

Spence said high school stats in Canada aren't followed as closely as in the U.S., so he didn't know what his numbers were from last season. But he was listed as a Preseason Player to Watch by www.redflagsports.com and was named by the Toronto Star as one of the top 30 players to watch in the Greater Toronto Area.

"Playing ball in Canada makes it much harder to get noticed because of the lack of exposure," he said. "Also, not all schools in the NCAA recruit Canada, which limits the opportunities. As far as getting noticed by the NCAA, my parents and I go down regularly to camps and combines which has really helped get my name out there."

Something else that could help is Spence's speed, an area he has been focusing on this offseason.

"I ran the fastest shuttle at the Columbus Nike combine last month," he said. "At a combine a few days ago I also ran a 3.94 shuttle and a 6.68 in the L drill, which I was told by Ron Dias from www.allcanadagridiron.com was the fastest time he has seen."

Spence reported a max bench of 270 pounds and a max squat of 410. His self-reported 40 time is 4.61 seconds.

"I am working with my speed coach Marc Messier from LVL1 Sports twice a week, so the priority right now is to become as fast and explosive as possible."

And, of course, to get a scholarship.

"I want to get the recruiting process out of the way," he said.

And he wouldn't mind at all if that first offer came from the Cowboys.

"I am very interested in Wyoming," he said. "It would be a great place to get an education. I like the fact that it is so isolated, which would make it an excellent place to go and develop my game in a focused environment. As far as contact with Wyoming, I received an e-mail last week from them asking for film and academic information. So I will be sending that out in a few days."

To view Spence's player page and see highlights of his junior season, click here.

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