Spaight's switch no suprise to his JC coach

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Friday, December 21, 2012

When Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College linebacker Martrell Spaight switched his commitment from Kansas State to Arkansas and signed with the Hogs on Wednesday, Red Ravens defensive coordinator Paige Anders wasn't surprised.

Junior College All American LB Martrell Spaight

Junior College All American LB Martrell Spaight works out Tuesday morning at North Little Rock High School. (By Richard Davenport)
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"I knew as soon as coach (Bret) Bielema went into his house," said Anders of Bielema's in-home visit Saturday evening. "I knew they were going to get him I knew they were. He never came out and said Arkansas was the place he wanted to go but I knew in his heart that was where he wanted to go the whole time."

Spaight, 6-0 1/2, 220, 4.5 seconds in the 40 yard dash, played his high school football at North Little Rock before heading to Coffeyville where he became a two-time first team All American and this year's Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

As noted in Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Anders raved about Spaight's willingness to work.

"He has an unbelievable work ethic and I've been fortunate enough to be around some big-time athletes while coaching at Butler and at Coffeyville," Anders said. "I was fortunate to coach(former Hog safety) Rudell Crim, who play at Arkansas. Rudell was such a hard worker and a great person."

Spaight, who was unanimously voted a team captain by his peers, relies on his faith. "He would say a prayer every time before he walked on the field," Anders said. "A good Christian young man. He's also a great leader."

Anders is from Hampton, where his father, Andy coached at Hampton for more than 10 years and also had a one year stint at Hermitage where Cincinnati Coach Tommy Tuberville was on his staff.

He and the rest of the staff arrived at Coffeyville a year ago this month. Once off the road from recruiting, the Ravens players were divided into two groups and began workouts at about 1 o'clock afternoon and about 6 o'clock in the evening.

"He was coming to both workout groups lifting twice a day," Anders said. "So we had to back him off a little bit. I have never been around a human being that has the work ethic like he has."

All the hard work paid off for Spaight during his junior college career and likely do the same at Arkansas.

"He has made himself into an SEC player," Anders said. "There have been guys around that were better all around athletes than him but everything he got he has worked for which has caused him to surpass everybody else."


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