PURDUE DEFENSIVE LINE COACH TERRELL WILLIAMS: “A lot of people see Anthony Spencer as a pass rusher, and he did a good job. But from a productivity standpoint, he had 92 tackles, led the country in tackles for losses, so he was good versus the run also. That’s the thing people that didn’t watch him play miss. He’s probably better against the run, than the pass.
… He started off really hot, and going into the Hawaii game, he had 26.5 tackles for losses, and then he started getting doubled, teams started using the tight end to block him and backs to chip
. And they’d also run away from him, but the amazing thing about Anthony is that he’d chase a lot of those plays down from behind. … I think, he’d fit perfectly in a 3-4, he fits the mold of defensive ends we’ve had here in past, when you look at Rosevelt Colvin and Shaun Philips and Akin Ayodele, all the guys that are NFL linebackers. Anthony fits that mold really well, he runs a 4.68 40, he’s powerful, he’s athletic and he can do all those things. He can drop into coverage. We used him a lot in coverage last spring when we were playing with the idea of mixing in 3-4. We did it a little last year, but not a whole lot. …He was our boundary defensive end, and he could stand up and play some linebacker and we could’ve dropped him into coverage. But when you got a guy like him in coverage, you have to wonder who’s rushing the quarterback?
It was more us being smart, not dropping him and having him rush instead. … I’ve actually had those guys studying Rosevelt and Shaun, and Anthony would compare to both. On film, all three of those guys are productive, but I think Anthony’s a little more powerful than the other two overall. …
He’s an unbelievable kid, an unbelievable character kid, he always showed up to meetings on time, worked hard in practice. At our level, they’ve got a lot to worry about, class, study hall, getting up for (team) breakfasts. And with Anthony Spencer, we never had a problem off the field at all, he came to work when he needed to work, and went home when he needed to be home.
We’ll miss from him from an athletic standpoint, but we’ll also miss him in locker room … He was a guy that was almost unanimously voted as team captain. It really wasn’t even close. When we voted, a couple others got votes, but it was almost unanimous
, so he’s not only respected by coaches, but his peers as well. He’s not a guy that’s gonna get in guy’s faces, he’ll pull guys to the side. Mainly, he led by example. But you hear the young defensive linemen, and they all say, “Look how hard Spencer worked, and now it’s paid off.’ Everyone respected him. …He had 11 sacks, but I bet he should’ve easily had 20 sacks, with guys slipping off of him, he’s a guy that’s rare because he combines power with speed. He’ll become a much better pass rusher at the pro level.
What I’ve told everyone is that he’ll be better because he’ll have to use his athletic ability more. At our level, with a bench press close to 500 pounds and a squat near 600
, he could overpower guys. Now in the NFL, he’s gonna not going to be able to overpower people as much. He played against Joe Thomas, Levi Brown, and you can see where he was forced to use athletic ability and how good he could be doing that. He had one scout that was watching Anthony Spencer and Joe Thomas play on tape, and he said that neither one of them did a damn thing, and that tells you how good both of the are.”