Spencer Hopes to Shine in Crowded Receiving Corps

By Tim Shoemaker on August 25, 2014 at 6:21p

Evan Spencer came to Ohio State as the son of one of the most prolific running backs in the school's history.

His father, Tim Spencer, lit up the fields in the 1980s and is third on Ohio State's all-time rushing list (3,553 yards) behind only Heisman Trophy winners Eddie George and Archie Griffin.

Unlike his dad, however, Evan is a wide receiver. And now in his fourth year with the Buckeyes, he's trying to make a name for himself at a position that is loaded with young talent.

“There wasn’t really pressure that I felt personally," Spencer said about coming in as the son of an accomplished Ohio State player Monday. "The kind of vibe that I kind of pulled from it was that we played different positions. He was a great running back here, and I came here trying to make a name for myself."

"Yeah, I am Tim Spencer’s son, but I’ve gotta go out on the field and perform. So that was probably the only pressure that I had was just knowing that you’ve gotta go out and make a name for yourself, really.”

It's been somewhat of a tough going so far for Spencer, though. During his time as a Buckeye, he has often been praised for his blocking ability, but his pass-catching numbers haven't met that same standard. He's hauled in just 37 passes for 430 yards and four touchdowns in his three seasons.

Now, as a senior, he finds himself in a rotation with roughly five or six other players. None of whom, with the exception of fellow senior Devin Smith and sophomore Dontre Wilson, have much experience for Ohio State.

It's such a crowded group, in fact, that head coach Urban Meyer still doesn't know who will start the Buckeyes' season-opening drive just five days from now against Navy.

"I couldn't tell you the starting receivers either right now," Meyer said at his press conference Monday. "Evan and Devin. Evan Spencer, Devin Smith. You got Dontre Wilson, you got Jalin Marshall, you got Mike Thomas and Corey Smith. And all of them could march in, and they all deserve playing time, so it's just a matter of who breaks the huddle first."

While Ohio State cannot play six or more receivers at the same time, Spencer said the depth of the group, and his place in it, will be a huge asset to Ohio State's offense this season.

“In our room, we’ve got like five or six 1s. You guys will see on Saturday, but we’re gonna rotate so much that we’re gonna try to keep fresh people on the field because we have the players to do so," Spencer said. "We have the athletes to do so and everybody’s comfortable enough in the system. They know what they’re doing, they know why they’re doing it more importantly and because of that, we’re gonna have so many more people in the rotation which in the big picture is gonna help us out . We’re gonna be more fresh, more athletic and more on our game I think.”

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