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Noah Spence Denies Making Ohio State Drug Use Comment in NFL Combine Interview

Eastern Kentucky defensive lineman Noah Spence runs the 40 yard dash at the NFL football scouting combine, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)
L.G. Patterson/Associated Press
Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistMarch 5, 2016

Former Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Noah Spence, who is looking to become a first-round draft pick in April, provided an interesting answer when an NFL team asked him about the issue of drug use.

Per Eric Edholm of Yahoo Sports, an unnamed NFL team pressed Spence about his past drug use, to which he responded by saying, "I wasn't the only one doing it at OSU, trust me."

However, Spence took to Twitter to refute the report:

Spence's college career began in 2012. He played sparingly as a true freshman, recording one sack in six games, but he looked like a superstar in 2013 with 14 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks in 13 games. 

However, Spence received a three-game suspension when a drug test detected Ecstasy in his system. The star defender was on the bench as Ohio State lost to the Clemson Tigers in the Orange Bowl and was supposed to miss the first two games of the next season.

In September 2014, the school indefinitely suspended him after he failed another drug test. In November 2014, per Big Ten bylaws, the conference ruled him permanently ineligible.

Last week at the NFL Scouting Combine, Spence said his Ecstasy use "wasn't an addiction," per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. He also said that he is drug tested every week, according to Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot.

After sitting out for the 2014 season, Spence transferred to play for the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. He continued to dominate on the field, recording 22.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks in 2015. Twenty-eight teams attended his pro day Friday, but Dan Parr of NFL.com reported there were no head coaches or general managers in attendance.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, though. ESPN.com's Todd McShay projected that the New York Jets will select him with the No. 20 overall pick in his most recent mock draft. 

Given his past drug use, Spence is going to be under a more intense microscope than a typical prospect. He has a lot to prove, but his consistent level of production in college will make him an attractive option for teams in need of an edge-rusher.

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