Spencer enjoys Ohio State debut

COLUMBUS -Strange as it may seem, signing with The Ohio State University was not a mere formality for Buckeye freshman Evan Spencer.

The son of St. Clairsville native and former OSU running back great Tim Spencer, how could the kid – a prep star at a suburban Chicago high school – not make Ohio State a one-and-done proposition on the recruiting circuit?

“Notre Dame was high on my list … and so was Iowa,” the young Buck wideout confessed following his first collegiate game in Scarlet & Gray Saturday in steamy Ohio Stadium.

“Actually, (we) were on a fishing trip and were discussing his options,” dad explained. “Evan looked at me and said, ‘I can’t ever imagine being on the opposing sideline (in the Horseshoe).’ That pretty much told me where he was headed.”

Evan made his first career reception at OSU a highlight-reel production. Spencer reeled in a spectacular one-hand grab of a Braxton Miller aerial good for 33 yards and a likley top 10 selection on ESPN. “I’ll be watching (later) to see,” he smiled.

The 6-1, 190-pound Spencer had been on the field for well over a dozen plays before finally hearing his number called. “Was I excited? You kidding?” he grinned. “I looked back and had to make an adjustment. I just threw my arm out there and somehow pulled it in. You really don’t have much time to think in those situations.”

Regarding his initial entrance into the Shoe. “Totally crazy. I can’t actually describe the feeling, running down that tunnel and into a stadium full of people like that,” Spencer offered. “It’s something I definitely think I’ll love getting used to.”

Both Tim and wife Gilda were in the stands and equally excited to be part of their son’s first gameday experience. “I was probably just as fired up,” Tim related. “It’s a great thrill watching Evan (come out here) and play in the same environment as I did. We’re just so happy and proud of him.”

Running backs’ coach for the Chicago Bears, Tim was given permission to fly in for Saturday’s season opener. “We just played (Cleveland) Thursday. The staff gave me the go-ahead so it couldn’t have worked out better,” he observed.

The same can be said for the Buckeyes who proved the Boom Herrons, DeVier Poseys and Mike Adams’ of the world were not exactly missed. “We’re going to be a lot better team when they do get back,” Evan Spencer related.

“Our goal from day one has been to be the best receiving corps in the country. I seriously believe we can be that. (Us young) guys are going to improve week after week.”

Expect more of the same next Saturday when Toledo’s Rockets invade the Shoe. The Bucks first true test arrives in a week three road encounter at Miami (Fla.)…


IT was total domination by the Buckeyes Saturday. They generated 517 total yards while yielding no more than 90 to the overmatched Zips…

Starting quarterback Joe Bauserman was rarely pressured, completing 12-of-16 throws for 163 yards and three TDs – all to 6-5, 245-pound junior tight end Jake Stonebrunner. “Joe was really good in camp, so we expected him to be the day-one starter,” Stoneburner advised….

TOUTED frosh Miller was equally effective, making good on 8-of-12 passes for 130 yards and a score to freshman Devin Smith of Massillon … Miller added 30 yards on six runs. “Joe (Bauserman) and Braxton are two totally different types,” Evan Spencer noted. “Both bring something different to the table. Joe is good at drop-backs while Braxton is a ‘make-something-happen’ type player. Both are going to have successful seasons….”

BEFORE entering the postgame press room, Evan Spencer checked his phone. “I had 47 text messages after the game,” he smiled….

STARTING Referee Dennis Lipski whistled an ‘official’s’ timeout and removed himself from the game prior to halftime after reportedly suffering from dehydration. The field temperature reached 105 while the game time reading was 93…..

Gibson may be reached at rgibson@timesleaderonline.com