Entrance Exam is a series at BuckeyeNation where we chat with incoming freshmen in Ohio State athletics.
Noah Spence comes to Ohio State this fall full of expectations.
Ranked as the No. 2 defensive end in the nation from the 2012 class and the No. 4 overall player in the ESPN 150, the 6-foot-4, 245-pound Spence (Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt) was the top-rated Buckeyes recruit in the 2012 class and has prototype size and strength.
His explosive first step made him a force at Bishop McDevitt High School and a five-star lineman.
The Parade All-American and Maxwell Football Club National High School Player of the Year piled up 108 tackles, 12½ sacks and 27 tackles for loss last season and led the Crusaders to their second consecutive PIAA Class AAA final. He was also named Pennsylvania's Gatorade Player of the Year.
Spence is expected to be the anchor on a strong defensive line class for the Buckeyes, joining DE Adolphus Washington (Cincinnati/Taft), DE Se'Von Pittman (Canton, Ohio/McKinley), DT Tommy Schutt (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West) and DE Jamal Marcus (Durham, N.C./Hillside) as incoming freshmen.
BuckeyeNation caught up with Spence recently and talked about the impact he hopes to make in Columbus.
BN: What made you sign with Ohio State?
Spence: It was the coaching staff and the fact it was close to home. I didn't want to go too far. This school is coming up again. They're going to start winning and I want to be a part of it.
BN: You were at the spring game a few months ago. What were your impressions?
Spence: I was impressed with how fast the defense was. I like that. I like the different plays that Coach [Urban] Meyer is putting in. It's the speed of the game that he's bringing to the Big Ten. I play my game relying on speed more than anything else. I try to beat my man off the ball and for that, it's all about speed.
BN: Regardless of whether or not Ohio State redshirts you, what do you hope to learn your first year?
Spence: I'm not sure what they're going to do, but I hope to get in this year, even if it's just a little bit. I hope to learn to better myself as a person and a player. I want to learn to be better against the run, better at pass-rushing and just tune up everything I learned in high school.
BN: This incoming defensive line group has drawn considerable praise. What can fans expect out of it?
Spence: I'm not sure what to expect because we haven't all come in yet, but we'll keep working hard and do our best to live up to what everyone thinks we will be. Looking at everyone from high school, I think we can be pretty good, but I won't put anything out there until I see all of us working hard. It's about how coachable we are and how we play together.
BN: Where will the Buckeyes be in four years?
Spence: I think we go as far as a national title if we stay together and play up to our potential.