Noah SpenceOLB Ohio ST

6-2, 251, (PD) 4.75, 4.35 SS, 

33" Arms, 25 Reps, 7.21 3-Cone

10'1" Broad! 10 3/4" Hand

35" Vert, 9'5" Broad

Can Touch This: Part III.

By TOM

Spence is a troubled soul with an incredible knack for hitting the quarterback. It seems he is coming out at the exact wrong time. As TMZ films the deathnel of Manziel, one inane selfie of denial at a time, players with a drug history get harder and harder to take. So his story in this Draft is, unfairly or not, linked to the sad tale of death that Johnny Football is playing out on his phone. 

The difference is that Spence has a program. He gets tested every week, and has been sober since he left Ohio State. "I just stayed on top of it," Spence said. "I’ve been drug tested frequently and just put my focus more on football, school, stuff like that. It’s definitely huge for me, especially with all my drug tests and still being drug tested to this day. It shows that Ive grown from the situation and tried my best to become a better person. Every week now, and I was on every drug test possible when I was at Eastern Kentucky. After I failed at Ohio State, I was drug tested up to twice a week until I left Ohio State." That is a big deal.

If he is still sober and agrees to drug tests he is still draftable in the 1st. But maybe a player you can never truly trust. "Honestly, it was more me going to parties and stuff like that," Spence said. "It was never really an addiction. Just stayed on top of it, been drug tested frequently, and just put my focus more on football, school and stuff like that." Addition is a disease of denial. 

It is a life long vigil. "With anybody with a substance abuse problem that they've had, I feel like they're pretty leery about it," Spence said. "But if you can put it behind you, [you] can convince the team it's behind you. I'm still being drug tested to this day. It shows that I've grown from the situation and I've become a better person." I hope so.

The Manziel space opera is showing just how dangerous the risk really is. Manziel is going to die because he is constitutionally incapable of being honest with himself. You cannot tell for certain how honest Spence can be with himself once he gets a cool Mil in his pocket. "It’s life," Spence said. "I did some things. I have to answer to them." But he has been clean for a year, and willing subjecting himself to over a dozen drug tests at Eastern Kentucky, which is a very good sign. 

But to say he is anything other than a Buyer Beware player if folly. "He has continued right along," EKU HC Dean Hood said. "The beautiful thing is our drug-counseling people contacted the people down at Ohio State. It's the same program. He hasn't missed a counseling session. He's passed every drug test. He's got all A's and B's for the semester. He's taking 12 hours this summer. He's going to graduate in the fall. He came in as a guy, and I hate to tell kids, 'Hey, zero tolerance. You do something wrong, you're out of here.' I said, 'Hey, you've got a blank slate. You've done something. That's the past. That's forgiven. Let's start out from square one, but because of these things that had happened, anytime we have a drug test, you're obviously going to be in it.' It's 'Forgive but not forget and let's be wise about how we structure things.'" He will have to find a new structure with the team that takes him.

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He went to Western Kentucky and continued to play like he did at Ohio State, and played one game against SEC competition. "He’s so quick-twitch," the Kentucky OC Dawson said. "And when he sticks his toe in the ground and comes underneath, he really gets there fast. If he played in our conference he’d be an All-SEC player, no doubt about it." They couldn't stop him from turning the corner to the QB either.

He exploded off the line at the Senior Bowl. "[He] made it a goal of his to graduate in the fall at Eastern Kentucky so he could be eligible for this game," Phil Savage said. "So that gives the scouts something to work with. That was a goal he reached. A hurdle he reached and scouts were impressed by that. I don’t think anybody has ever doubted his ability level. This is an incredible stage for someone like him that has a lot of questions to answer." He was the best passrusher from start to finish at the Senior Bowl. 

He too often ignores the RB, and just follows the QB. "His get off was very quick," his Senior Bowl HC Bradley said. "He's strong. For his size 260-65 pounds, but he plays strong. He's excellent speed and a great get off, and it showed up here [at SB] the last couple of days of practice." He does not play strong at all against the run. In fact, he sucks. He is one of those weird guys who beats the crap out of OTs in the rush, but gets the crap beat out of him in the run game. He will have to be a designated rusher as a rookie, and will struggle to play in the Base defense. 

This kid definitely has that knack for hitting the quarterback. He was dipping and ripping his way through every O-Tackle on roster all week. His balance while being mauled as the turns the corner was what I was most impressed with in this game. He is an all out all the time guy. He is as relentless as a tornado in Kansas. No one gets lower bending around the corner. 

He rushes like he hates the quarterback. "Noah is just pure speed," Taylor Decker said. "He's really quick off the ball and has a really good motor. I’m just happy to see he was able to turn things around, because I know he was going through some dark times. I like him as a person and I’ve always gotten along with him. It’s cool to see a guy who had every reason to fail, but didn’t use one of them as a reason to fail." He had 11.5 Sacks and 22.5 TFL on 63 tackles in 2015. He also garnered 3 Forced Fumbles and 2 Fumble Recovery.

Great speed to the Corner. Great Bend. Great body control. "I bring a great pass rush and I’m able to set the edge for an NFL team," Spence said. "I really like Justin Houston’s game. "I watch a lot of his film and I try to model my game around his." They do have a lot in common, especially positive drug tests.

No one in this years Draft gets to the Corner quicker. No one in this Draft turns the corner quicker or with more agility than Spence. His blast off gets him to the outside shoulder of the O-Tackle more consistently than any rusher at the Senior Bowl. He wins fast, and in the NFL you have to win faster than in college. Not great long speed, but elite burst, explosion, and aggression on the edge.

He ran a surprising bad Forty at the Combine. "It's not a killer," Jeremiah said about Spence's 4.8 at the Combine. "It's not a crushing time. But you'd hope for it to be just a little bit faster. I'd like to see somebody at that size run in the 4.6s, high 4.6s. Maybe in the very, very low 4.7s. I think 4.68 sounds about right for what you'd want to see." He got a little redemption getting a 4.7 next to his name at his Proday.

I like the comparison to Von Miller more than Khalil Mack. "His ability to rush the passer, first-step quickness, dip and rip, the bend and balance that you see him turn the corner with, to me reminded me of the same thing I saw from Von Miller when he was at the Senior Bowl years ago," Bucky Brooks said. "We all know pass rushers are coveted at a premium. If he interviews well at the combine and going forward in his private workouts when he makes team visits, I believe at the end of the day, he's going to be in the conversation for the top 15." Mack was a much more rounded player coming out of Kentucky.

Ohio State Overview: Noah Spence is a fine football player ... this true junior has played in 24 games through his first two seasons and he has started 13 times ... he is coming off a first-team all-Big Ten Conference season and he ranks second among current Buckeyes with 15.5 career tackles-for-loss and with 9.0 quarterback sacks ... Spence also ranks fourth among current Ohio State players with 64 career tackles ... he is a two-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and an Academic All-Big Ten Conference honoree who is majoring in communications.

Additional Notes:

Ohio State:  Spence is a quick twitch rusher who got suspended for some shenanigans and has left the program. His last season at Ohio State he garnered 8 Sacks and 14.5 TFL on 52 tackles in 12 games. He has to get double figures in Sacks to make it into the first half of the 1st Round, because he pulled a Welker. He tested positive for Ecstasy and was suspended for three games. He is an excellent athlete who has that COD agility that you look for in a rusher. He gets up field in a flash and has the bend to turn the corner. He is such a natural rush who gets low and can turn the corner on the bigger OTs. He plays on both sides so you have to pay attention to him. 

Previous Released: Spence continued to make plays in the SB Game. He showed a great up and under move that almost lead to a Sack of Wentz in the two-minute drill. He got his sack in the 2nd quarter against Hogan, and it was a great one for him. He was standing up at OLB in an Odd front. He saw the RB coming over to double him, and he ripped inside the ORT and took Hogan down. That was a truly great move against the double team. I liked him at OLB. He actually tried to set the edge on one play, but it was a play action. He got in on another sack in the 3rd. He blasted off and ripped his way past the OLT. He just beat up every tackle they put in front of him all week in Alabama.

Combine: Nice strong core. One of the best moving forward and backwards in bag drill. When he stays smooth and low he can really move his feet. Smooth and natural in coverage drills. Nice hands in coverage drills. He wins right off the snap with explosiveness up field. He was a beast at Ohio State, before all the Ecstasy busts, a model citizen at E. Kentucky (were he was drug tested constantly). He looked like Von Miller exploding up field after the QB at the Senior Bowl. He's terrible against the run, and is all to willing to run himself out of the play on run downs. He is a pure speed rusher who ran a very disappointing Forty at Combine. He trimmed down to 248 at his Proday, and wants to be an OLB in a 3-4.

He has instant lateral explosion to change direction and get a shoulder on O-tackles. He can burst inside as well as consistently get the corner. His initial burst off the snap might be the best in the Draft. He turns the corner as low and quick as anyone in this Draft. His ability to Dip around the corner might be tops in the Draft. He can Rip inside and around the corner. Great agility and coordination to play off balance. He is a hunter who is constantly trying to hit the QB. He stood up well to the rough stuff at the SB. In fact, he got in a view scraps with some lineman, and didn't back down at all. He has some hyper-competitiveness to him. He has everything you want in a speed rusher, except pure speed on the track and persona that you can completely trust.

He had 8 Sacks and 14.5 TFL in his second seasons at Ohio State in 2013: This true junior has played in 24 games through his first two seasons and he has started 13 times ... he is coming off a first-team all-Big Ten Conference season and he ranks second among current Buckeyes with 15.5 career tackles-for-loss and with 9.0 quarterback sacks ... Spence also ranks fourth among current Ohio State players with 64 career tackles ... he is a two-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and an Academic All-Big Ten Conference honoree who is majoring in communications.

Then he sat out a year, and went E. Kentucky for the 2015 season where he garnered 22.5 TFL: Spence transferred to Eastern Kentucky University in 2015. In his lone season at Eastern Kentucky he had 63 tackles and 11.5 sacks and was the Ohio Valley Conference co-Defensive Player of the Year.

Noah Spence Vs Penn State 2013:

He just always seems to be running free to the QB (:01). He is just not good against the run (:09). He can rush standing up. He has a great burst off the snap (:33). He is so slippery when big OTs try to block him. He has that knack for bursting past blockers that you can't teach (:54). Not a great stunter inside. He is an outside space player (1:07). It is amazing to me how often he finds a way to run free to the QB (1:17). Even when he plays it perfect he is not good in the run game (1:34). He can get the RB by loping around from the outside, but pretty much not in any other way. He is not good with the physical stuff. He might have to be a designated rusher. I would run right at him all game long.

He has experience in coverage as an OLB (1:41). He heads up field with great agility and leverage, and this is what he does best. He is the best dip and ripper in the Draft (2:07). He must have done this 20 times at the Senor Bowl. Arm slap to dip and rip then he is past the OT and diving at the QB (2:25). I admit I don't know how he does it. He just has that knack. He bursts and powers past OTs like they are yield signs. And of course he causes the fumble, and doesn't even seem to notice.

Watch the great loop into the Rip by his inside hand that looks like a repartee with a fencing sword. Meanwhile, his outside hand grabbed the inside hand of the OLT as he pulled himself past him. That is just an incredible move that he is able to replicate over and over in every game. He is the most natural and instinctive rusher I have ever seen (2:38). He makes two guys miss (2:49). Then he just rips inside the ORT, and finds a lane to the QB. It cracks me up how he looks so small next to the big O-Tackles, yet he beats the up in rush after rush. 

That's what he does over and over. He rides his away past the OLT. Then he powers inside through the ORT to the QB (3:39). He also might be the worst run defender I have ever seen (3:58). Two more terrible plays against the run (4:22). Then you get a quick look at him using his hands to get past the ORT and hit the QB (4:33). He is so odd. As strong and dynamic against OTs as he is in the rush, he is as weak and pathetic against them in the run game. And that's it. That is what he did at W. Kentucky last season.

More importantly it was what he did at Ohio State and the Senior Bowl all week. "A lot of these kids have baggage," a personnel director said. "It comes down to what you can live with, and he's made some big strides. I wouldn’t evaluate him so much off what he did at Eastern Kentucky, but he was playing as a freshman at Ohio State and making an impact [eight sacks] as a sophomore. He's going to have a long career in this league. I would say that he's got more natural ability than Joey Bosa." No matter what OT they put in front of him, he was defenseless against the run, and made the OT look defenseless in pass pro. 

Noah Spence Vs Penn ST 2013:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rz8W5W4uDeI

 

 

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Spence's Official Bio:

Ohio State Overview: Noah Spence is a fine football player ... this true junior has played in 24 games through his first two seasons and he has started 13 times ... he is coming off a first-team all-Big Ten Conference season and he ranks second among current Buckeyes with 15.5 career tackles-for-loss and with 9.0 quarterback sacks ... Spence also ranks fourth among current Ohio State players with 64 career tackles ... he is a two-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and an Academic All-Big Ten Conference honoree who is majoring in communications.

2013 Season: Spence started 13 games for the Buckeyes at the defensive end position called the "viper" by Ohio State coaches (because the name is cool) ... he was named first-team all-Big Ten Conference (media) and second team by the coaches ... ranked second in the Big Ten in sacks with 8.0 and sixth in tackles-for-loss with 14.5 ... led the Buckeyes in sacks and sack yards (67) and also led in TFL yards (83) ... recorded 52 tackles on the season with two pass break-ups, four QB hurries, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery ... tied a career-best with six tackles vs. California and set personal bests in TFLs and sacks with three and two, respectively, vs. Penn State.

2012 Season: Noah played in 11 games as a true freshman, missing only the Nebraska game because of a minor injury ... despite a veteran defensive line corps in front of him, Spence was on the field for 256 plays and he gained valuable game reps with 237 plays on defense ... he totaled 12 tackles, including a quarterback sack for minus-20 yards in his initial game as a Buckeye, vs. Miami ... he also had a pass break-up.

More on Noah: Spence was a Parade Magazine All-American, a five-star prospect, the No. 2 defensive end prospect in the country and a Top 5 prospect nationally by ESPNU and MaxPreps coming out of Bishop McDevitt ... he was also the No. 1 player in the state of Pennsylvania and the state's two-time big school defensive player of the year ... he was selected the 2011 Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year, an award that recognizes high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character in addition to athletics ... also named the Maxwell Football Club's national high school player of the year in 2011 ... amassed 204 tackles, including 50 tackles-for-loss and 35.5 sacks, during his junior and senior seasons ... he helped Bishop McDevitt, under coach Jeff Weachter, advance to consecutive state Class AAA title games ... he topped 50 quarterback sacks in his career and then had an Under Armour All-American game record three sacks ... Noah is the youngest of four sons born to Helen and Greg Spence, and the couple also has five adopted sons ... the siblings include Ray, Rod, Greg, Malcolm, Alonzo, Alex, Noah, Tariq and Marqus ... Noah's father played football at North Carolina State and an uncle, Phil, was a standout basketball player for the Wolfpack and played on the school's 1974 national championship team.

NOAH SPENCE'S CAREER DEFENSIVE STATS AT OHIO STATE:

YEAR G-GS UA A TOT TFL YDS SACKS FF
2012 11-0 7 5 12 1.0 20 1.0 0
2013 13-13 24 28 52 14.5 83 8.0 1
TOT 24-13 31 33 64 15.5 103 9.0 1
TACKLES GP UA A Total TFL TFLY PD FF FR BLK
2015 11 31 32 63 22.5 113 0 3 2 0
SACKS GP UA A Total Yards
2015 11 9 5 11.5 83

 

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