Vernon Hills' Spencer commits to OSU

Chicago Bears running backs coach Tim Spencer once left his staple on Ohio State's football program.
Now, his son will try to do the same.

Vernon Hills wide receiver Evan Spencer, one of the nation's top 2011 prospects, followed in his father's footsteps and committed to the Buckeyes over the weekend.

Spencer, a 6-foot, 178-pound wideout, chose Ohio State over offers from Cincinnati, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, Purdue and Wisconsin.

"I think he was leaning that way, but he was open to other options," Vernon Hills coach Tony Monken said of Spencer's Ohio State commitment. "There was no one that blew him away that showed him that he should go somewhere else."

ESPN Scouts, Inc. ranks Spencer as the 18th-best wide receiver and 104th overall player in the 2011 class.

"This commitment is not much of shocker for Buckeye fans with the family ties but is still a very important verbal as they landed a natural pass catcher with well-rounded skill-set," ESPN'S Billy Tucker said. "Ohio State's fourth ESPNU 150 prospect for 2011 has good physical tools to develop in Columbus.

"While not elite in one particular facet at the position, Spencer runs well and possesses the total package at the position. This guy can turn the short pass into a big gain or get vertical as a route runner, create separation and make the difficult downfield grab. Very good week for the Buckeyes as they landed their future quarterback in Under Armour All-American Braxton Miller and now pass catcher in Spencer."

Spencer caught 14 touchdowns last season for Vernon Hills and is expected to have an even better senior season beside uncommitted DaVaris Daniels, the 15th-ranked wide receiver in the 2011 class.

"He's got exceptional speed," Monken said of Spencer. "He has great hands. He plays with the ball above his head. He's a strong runner with the ball. He's obviously has great instincts growing up in a football family. He's someone who understands the work ethic involved to be successful."

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at preps@espnchicago.com.