UCF signee Spencer gets ceremony after all

DALLAS – The Dallas school district holds an annual signing day ceremony on the first day of the NCAA football signing period in which they showcase all of the football and basketball recruits -- from FBS signees to junior college signees. Linebacker Domenic Spencer (Dallas Skyline) wasn’t a part of that ceremony.

On Thursday, Spencer had his own ceremony, as the 5-foot-11, 215-pound outside linebacker proudly wore his Central Florida ball cap in front of family, friends, coaches and teachers. Spencer is Skyline’s 13th college signee of the 2012 recruiting class. He’s also the 11th Skyline linebacker to sign an FBS scholarship in the last seven years.

“It feels real good to finally take this load off my back,” Spencer said. “My brother’s in college, and my mom and dad are paying for him. It feels good that they don’t have to pay for me and that I have guaranteed four more years to play football, Big East football at that.

“It was hard for me not being able to sign on signing day. My mom and dad just told me to keep praying. They’re prayer warriors, and everything worked out.”

Spencer had offers from Navy and FCS national runner-up Sam Houston State, which is where his older brother, Desmond, attends college. Spencer also received interest from UTEP, SMU, UNLV, North Texas, Texas State and Nevada. Recruited by UCF director of player personnel Drew Hughes and linebackers coach Tyson Summers, Spencer is expected to play outside linebacker for the Knights, and he is expected to be the only Texan on the roster.

Spencer committed to UCF on Feb. 13, 12 days after national signing day. Prior to committing, Spencer visited Orlando, Fla., and the UCF campus. He was hosted by freshman linebacker Troy Gray, and Spencer said Gray and the rest of the players were a big reason why he chose to play for the Knights.

“Their players are a family. They really bond down there,” Spencer said. “When I went down there, we were all one big group. They didn’t think about partying; they think about how they can help each other on and off the field. We played video games all night talking about what we can do to get better.”

Spencer had 145 tackles and five sacks during his senior year. Spencer is expected to play outside linebacker but can also play middle linebacker if needed. As a junior, he lined up at defensive end and recorded 13 sacks. Spencer additionally was a defensive captain for this year’s team, which went 14-1 and advanced to the Texas Class 5A Division I state semifinals.

“He was a leader, and he was not afraid to redirect his players … but it was OK, because it was never in a way that was negative,” Skyline coach Reginald Samples said. “Sometimes, it’s good for the team, because there were some who didn’t have the courage to speak up.”

Spencer said he plans on majoring in education and hopes to be a college football coach after finishing college – if a professional football career isn’t in the plans.

Damon Sayles covers Midlands recruiting for ESPN Recruiting. He can be reached at dsaylesespn@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter: @DamonSayles