2017 NFL Draft

Sean Spence, OLB

School: Miami (Fla.)  |  Conference: ACC
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Miami, FL
Height/Weight: 5-11 / 231 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
Latest News
04/30/2012 - A closer look at the Steelers' picks: Round 3/86 -- Sean Spence, ILB, 6-0, 231, Miami...Miami captain where he started 39 games at outside linebacker in their 4-3. The Steelers will put him inside in their 3-4 defense, where he will play behind "mack" linebacker Lawrence Timmons. - The Sports Xchange

04/27/2012 - LB Sean Spence, Miami (Fla.) -- Only 5-11, 230, Spence is faster on the field than his 4.6 40 times at the Combine. He gets downgraded for average strength but his amazing recognition skills through diligent film study might still help him be a three-down linebacker for the Steelers.

03/16/2012 - NFL Draft Scout Top Edge Players, OLB/DE: Sean Spence, OLB, Miami, 5-11, 231, 2-3...Spence does everything he can to overcome lack of natural size and strength. He is already a coach on the field - something teams may note for the future - and shows amazing recognition skills that result from intense film analysis. Athletically, he reads and reacts quickly without wasted steps. Spence is not fooled often by play action, and shows above average skills as a pass defender. At the combine, he said "I think I am a three-down linebacker - very fast, I can go sideline to sideline, I'm a smart, very instinctive player. ... I lead by example, and most of all I make plays." Indeed, Spence has been consistent throughout his athletic career, collecting more than 100 tackles as a senior on Miami Northwestern High School's 2007 national championship team (chosen by USA Today). In 2008, he earned ACC Rookie of the Year honors at Miami and his career totals include 317 tackles (169 solo and 46 for a loss) and 10.5 sacks. But he may be tagged as an overachiever based on his workout at the combine, which included only 12 reps with 225 pounds on the bench press and a mediocre 4.71 seconds in 40 yards. He said afterward he had a bad shoulder and usually benches at least 19. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange/NFLDraftScout.com

03/09/2012 - With all the emphasis on 40-yard runs, vertical jumps and bench presses leading up to the NFL Draft, Sean Spence wonders if he wouldn't have been better off skipping his collegiate career. "It makes me feel like I shouldn't have played football," said Spence, who completed his UM career last season as the school's all-time leader in tackles for losses. "I should have just worked on the [NFL] combine and been a workout warrior." Spence is just the slightest bit touchy on the subject. At the combine in Indianapolis last month, Spence became a topic of discussion after he bench pressed 225 pounds only 12 times, by far the fewest in his position group. Of course, Spence is no weakling. He sustained a deep bone bruise in his left shoulder while competing in the Senior Bowl and was not completely recovered by the time he got to Indy. But if you know Spence, you know that he's ultra-competitive. That's how he's flourished in the violent world of football despite being an undersized linebacker at every level he's played. So when he was asked to do the bench press, the words, "no thanks" didn't occur to him. "Unfortunately I pushed out 12, but I know I can do more," said Spence on Thursday after taking part in UM's Pro Day. "Once I get healthy and get back to my old self I'll videotape it and send it to all the teams that want to see it." Spence said his shoulder is still not 100 percent, so he didn't bench press on Thursday. According to Spence, no one connected with the NFL has asked him about it. "It's not good, but on the field, you don't bench press," said Spence, adding he can rep 225 pounds 19 times when healthy. - Jorge Milian, The Palm Beach Post

03/06/2012 - If teams are worried about how David is going to be able to handle the jump in size and physicality in the NFL, they're even more worried about how Miami's Spence will make the adjustment. At just 5-11, 231 pounds, Spence was the smallest of the linebackers measured at the Combine. And running the 40-yard dash in 4.71 seconds didn't demonstrate the elite straight-line speed to convince everyone that he's athletic enough to make up for his lack of size. Scouts, however, love Spence's instincts, toughness and production as a four-year starter at a program well recognized for churning out high-caliber NFL linebackers. They can't help but appreciate that Spence has had to cover arguably the most athletic running in this draft (Lamar Miller) in practice, as well as his former teammate, Graham, who caught five touchdowns in 2009 -- his only season of college football. "I definitely can cover any back in the NFL, any tight end," Spence said. "I know the guys are bigger, faster stronger in the NFL, and I'm going to be as well." - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

02/23/2012 - NFL DRAFT SCOUT PRE-COMBINE TOP 64: 58. Sean Spence, OLB, Miami, 5-11, 228, 2...Spence does everything he can to overcome lack of natural size and strength. He is already a coach on the field -- something teams may note for the future -- and shows amazing recognition skills that result from intense film analysis. Athletically, he reads and reacts quickly without wasted steps. Spence is not fooled often by play-action, and shows above average skills as a pass defender. He a sure tackler who hits as hard as he can, again, for his size. Spence has been consistent throughout his athletic career, collecting more than 100 tackles as a senior on Miami Northwestern High School's 2007 National Championship team (chosen by USA Today). As a high school junior he had 147 tackles (10 for loss), two interceptions and three sacks. In 2008 he earned ACC Rookie of the Year honors at Miami and his career totals include 317 tackles (169 solo and 46 for a loss) and 10.5 sacks. - Frank Cooney - The Sports Xchange, NFL Draft Scout

10/27/2011 - SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: Miami's defense has been a work in progress, and that progress showed up when the Hurricanes held Georgia Tech to a season-low 134 yards rushing. The Hurricanes were without five starters on the defense when the season began, and though they have lost DT Marcus Forston to injury, they have all those players back now that DE Olivier Vernon is off a six-game suspension. He is being worked into the rotation in a backup role. PLAYERS TO WATCH: LB Sean Spence will be back at his usual outside spot after starting in the middle against Georgia Tech, where he could take advantage of his quickness to get to both sides of the field in defending Tech's option attack. He leads the team in tackles (65) despite missing the opener while serving a one-game suspension. - The Sports Xchange

10/24/2011 - WEEK 8 ACC LINEBACKER OF THE WEEK: Sean Spence, Miami, LB, Sr., 6-0, 224, Miami, Fla. Sean Spence was again the Canes' leader on defense. The prolific linebacker played in the middle against the Yellow Jackets and racked up 10 tackles to lead all Miami players. The senior had six solo stops and a tackle for a loss of two yards. As the defensive captain, Spence helped hold Georgia Tech-one of the nation's most potent offenses-to a season-low seven points, 35.9 off of its average. - ACC football

10/17/2011 - WEEK 7 ACC LINEBACKER OF THE WEEK: Sean Spence, Miami, LB, Sr., 6-0, 224, Miami, Fla. Senior linebacker Sean Spence led all defensive players with 14 tackles, including a crucial sack late in the fourth quarter for a loss of seven yards. The Miami native finished the game with 1.5 tackles for loss for seven yards. Spence has been the anchor of the defense all season and has amassed 55 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss for 33 yards, three sacks for 23 yards and a forced fumble. - ACC football

10/10/2011 - WEEK 6 ACC CO-LINEBACKER OF THE WEEK: Sean Spence, Miami, LB, Sr., 6-0, 224, Miami, Fla. Spence continued his defensive dominance with a team-best 13 tackles in the loss to Virginia Tech. Spence, who now has a team-best 41 total tackles this year despite missing the opener, also recorded 2.0 tackles for a loss against the Hokies. Spence ranks second in the ACC with a 10.6 tackles per game average. - ACC football

09/22/2011 - SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: Miami's defense yielded some tough yards to Ohio State in the second quarter on the ground, but kept the Buckeyes out of the end zone. In two games, Miami has given up 315 yards rushing. The Hurricanes have only two sacks and have come up with three turnovers. The return of LB Sean Spence, DT Marcus Forston, and DE Adewale Ojomo from one-game suspensions made a big difference against Ohio State, and the return next month of SS Ray-Ray Armstrong also will provide a big boost. PLAYERS TO WATCH: LB Sean Spence missed making a big third-down stop on one Ohio State drive that led to a field goal, but he's not likely to make many mistakes like that. He has the speed to prevent opponents from breaking off big plays, and he can defend against the pass as well. - The Sports Xchange

09/22/2011 - LB Sean Spence had six tackles, and his closing speed kept the Buckeyes to shorter gains than might have been expected. "Clearly the guys we got back made a difference," coach Al Golden said. "Sean Spence runs the show, and the guys that had to make moves had another six practices to get better. "JoJo Nicholas played great at the safety position. Denzel Perryman played a lot more for us. Sean Spence, Marcus Forston, Adewale Ojomo all made a big difference. "We put more pressure on the quarterback." - The Sports Xchange

08/25/2011 - Miami coach Al Golden says the scandal-hit Hurricanes have not finalized their depth chart for the season-opener at Maryland. University officials are still working through the process of deciding the eligibility of 15 student-athletes implicated in an extra-benefits scandal. The investigation involves a booster who says he gave cash and gifts to players between 2002 and 2010. The NCAA has been looking into the matter for about five months. Golden says all the players involved are able to practice with the team. None of the implicated players have been available for comment. Golden says "we really don't know what the future brings." He says he expects to find out quickly if suspensions against players are warranted. Miami opens at Maryland on Sept. 5. - AP Sports

08/17/2011 - The NCAA said Wednesday it has been investigating the relationship between a convicted Ponzi scheme artist and the University of Miami for five months, and the allegations - if true - show the need for "serious and fundamental change" in college sports. Former booster Nevin Shapiro, now serving 20 years in federal prison, claims he treated players with sex parties, nightclub outings, cars and other gifts. Shapiro told Yahoo! Sports he provided improper benefits to 72 football players and other athletes at Miami from 2002 to 2010. "If the assertions are true, the alleged conduct at the University of Miami is an illustration of the need for serious and fundamental change in many critical aspects of college sports," NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement. The Hurricanes' entire football team took the practice field Wednesday, even though Shapiro's claims involve several current players. Coach Al Golden said it was too soon to take disciplinary action. The Hurricanes open their season Sept. 5 against Maryland. "Everybody is practicing," said Golden, who is in his first season as Miami's coach. "If it is determined somebody broke rules, then certainly they'll be first dealt with. ... As we get ready for Maryland, hopefully we'll swiftly learn if errors were made. If there are guys that are going to have to sit out games, we'll adjust our practice accordingly." Players weren't permitted to speak with the media. - AP Sports

08/09/2011 - MOST IMPORTANT PLAYER: LB Sean Spence - Personnel losses leave some questions on the defensive unit heading into the fall, and that means veterans like Spence are going to have to come through big. He has demonstrated in the past he can make the big plays. Now he has to make all the little ones as well. - The Sports Xchange

08/09/2011 - Defense, depth will be issues up front and at linebacker. But Golden is very high on senior linebacker Sean Spence. "He doesn't get enough credit," Golden said. "He gets credit for his athletic attributes and his God-given ability. He does not get enough credit for his work ethic. He does not get enough credit for his approach to the game off the field. "Incredible football intellect. I was amazed at how quickly he learned the system. Clearly, you don't know whether you know something until you teach it. He went from someone who learned it to someone who was teaching the young guys in a short period of time." - The Sports Xchange

08/09/2011 - 2011 PRESEASON ALL-ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE TEAM (MEDIA): LB Sean Spence, Miami (35), Senior, has been selected to the 2011 Preseason All-ACC Football team in voting conducted by the media at the annual ACC Football Kickoff. Spence returns for senior season as the second-leading tackler in the ACC after recording 111 total tackles a season ago. The second-team All-ACC performer led the Canes with 16 tackles for a loss in 2010 en route to being named the team's defensive MVP. In his career, Spence has recorded 212 tackles in 36 games. - Miami football

07/18/2011 - 2011 BUTKUS AWARD PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Sean Spence, Miami (Fla.), has been selected one of 51 linebackers named to the 2011 Butkus Award Preseason Watch List for the 2011 college football season. The award is handed out annually to the top linebacker in college football. For Spence, this marks the fourth preseason watch list he has been named to. He was also recently placed on the 2011 watch lists for the Bednarik Award, Nagurski Trophy and Lombardi Award. The linebacker was voted Miami's Most Valuable Player last season and was a 2010 Second-Team All-ACC selection with 111 tackles and 16 tackles for loss. Dan Morgan was the first Hurricane to be lauded with the Butkus Award in 2000. That same year, he also earned the Nagurski Trophy and the Bednarik Award, which are both given to college football's best defensive player. Spence now has the unique opportunity to become the first Cane since Morgan to receive all three honors in the same season. - Miami football

07/13/2011 - 2011 ROTARY LOMBARDI AWARD PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Sean Spence, LB, Miami, (2nd Team All-ACC, 111 tackles in 2010), has been selected to the Rotary Lombardi Award Preseason watch list for the 2011 college football season. Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense of defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, and linebackers who set up no father than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. This is the 42nd year that the Rotary Lombardi Award has named the nation's college lineman of the year. - The Rotary Lombardi Award Committee

07/11/2011 - 2011 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Sean Spence, Miami, LB, has been selected one of 87 players named to Preseason Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List for the 2011 college football season. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is awarded annually to the nation's best defensive player by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club. Spence enters his senior season with several honors to his name including the 2008 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year Award. The linebacker finished the 2010 season ranked fifth in the ACC in tackles with 111. He also led the team in tackles for loss with 16, which was also fourth best in the conference. - Miami football

07/08/2011 - 2011 CHUCK BEDNARIK AWARD PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Sean Spence, Miami, LB, Sr., has been selected by the The Maxwell Football Club to the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List for the 2011 college football season, given annually to the best defensive player. Following the 2010 campaign, Spence received the Most Valuable Player award, as well as being named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference Second Team. The Miami-Northwestern HS alum started all 13 games for the Hurricanes in 2010 and ranked second on the team and fifth in the ACC with 111 tackles. He recorded a season-high 14 tackles against Clemson, as well as three tackles-for-loss against Georgia Tech. Overall, he tallied a team-leading 16 TFL, which was fourth most in the conference. - Miami football

05/10/2011 - PLAYERS TO WATCH IN 2011: LB Sean Spence is the top returnee on defense. He had 111 tackles last year, second to the departed Colin McCarthy's 135, and is a hard hitter who is known for his playmaking. He had 17 tackles for loss, including 2.5 sacks. - The Sports Xchange

05/03/2011 - 2011 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY WATCH LIST: Sean Spence, Miami, LB, has been named to the 42-player Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list for the 2011 college football season as selected by the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation. - Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation


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