A Five Star recruit from Bishop McDevitt High School (Harrisburg, PA), Noah Spence came out of high school as a Parade Magazine All-American and the number 2 defensive line prospect in the country. It isn’t hard to see why. In 2011, he was selected as the Maxwell Football Club’s national high school player of the year as well as the Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year. Those accolades mean little to almost nothing when you hit the collegiate level, however. That hasn’t deterred Spence from making his presence known on the defensive line as he tries to fill the enormous shoes left by the departing (and now Baltimore Raven) John Simon.
Spence has shown in the limited time that he has seen, as well as the Ohio State LiFE Sports Spring Game, that he is more than up to the task. Recording 12 total tackles in 2012 (7 solo) as well as 1 sack (for 20 yards lost) that pinned Miami (OH) QB Zac Dysert behind the 10 yard line, Spence telegraphs to the Buckeye faithful that all is not lost with Simon off to the NFL. As the complimentary bookend to Adolphus Washington, teams may actually be more cautious of the defensive ends this coming season than they had been last season.
The Spring Game saw Spence record three sacks (take that for what you will) and line up like a boss against All-Everything tackle Jack Mewhort. The Sophomore will look to replicate the results of some of Ohio State’s legendary defensive ends, from Will Smith to Cam Heyward to the aforementioned Simon. He certainly has the right mindset for it:
“I’m still learning,” Spence said. “I don’t always know what I’m doing, probably half the time I don’t know. But I’m going to give 100 percent effort on every play.”
It is that type of attitude that Head Coach Urban Meyer and position coach Mike Vrabel are looking for in the heir apparent to Simon. Spence looks to possess the same unending motor that Simon exhibited and has solidified himself as a starter early on. But it’s not all fun and games for Spence. He’s also a monster in the classroom, being named one of the 30 football players on the OSU Scholar-Athletes list, majoring in Sociology. He brings that commitment to the field as well and should be something of an unblockable man-child as the Buckeyes look to pursue perfection again in 2013.