Now, the Dallas Cowboys defensive end is hoping to give high school players an opportunity he says he never had, to not only better themselves on and off the field, but also impressing college coaches and potentially earning scholarship offers in the process.
Spencer has teamed up with Bedrock Youth Academy and Next Level program along with AWP Sports Performance to bring the R.A.S. Football Camp to Trine University. Currently, college coaches from over 20 staffs are expected to attend and coach. There will also be special guest speakers who will bring lessons on more than the pigskin to attendees.
"I was one of the first AWP members before it was even called AWP," Spencer says, "when it was just me, Mike [Ledo] and other guys trying to get me ready for college and when I'd come home from college in the summers, I'd work out with them and focus. That's all it's really about is getting on a routine and getting guys focused on the right things they need to be focused on what they need to focus on and getting them around other guys who are competing."
Spencer's goal and one of AWP's primary missions is to make sure the talented athletes that come through their doors not only maximize their physical abilities, but also do not become sidetracked by bad decisions they have seen derail promising athletic careers.
"It's more just making them more aware of the decisions they're making in life," Spencer explains. "When you're in high school and that age, that's when you make most of your dumb decisions, so we're going to make them more aware of how the decisions they make impact their life and putting them around good people so they can see that every decision is going to have some kind of repercussion. Also, we're going to just have fun, and put everybody in a good situation because people are products of their environment. I've seen so much talent, I don't want to say go to waste, but it had more to do with the decisions people made and it's hard to get back on track after you make a bad decision."
The college coaches will come from all levels, from the Big Ten to MAC to FCS, Division II and Division III schools, so athletes of all abilities will have a chance to be coached by them, as well as be evaluated. It is an opportunity Spencer never had.
"We didn't have the year round training like they have in Florida or California or places where you have the most football coming out. I always joke with Mike, saying if I had something like that, I would have been this and that and would have been recruited higher, but now having it, just to see the growth these kids are getting and pushing themselves to the next level, it's amazing really."