I have been blessed with the opportunity to do an interview with a future inside linebacker for California University of Pennsylvania, Spencer Lynn.
Lynn is currently a senior attending Belle Vernon Area HS in Belle Vernon, PA.
California University of Pennsylvania is a Division-II college located in southwestern PA. Many people know the school as a D-II college football powerhouse.
This season, the Vulcans went 11-4 overall, claiming their fifth-straight (third outright) Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West title. They made it to the NCAA Semifinals for the third consecutive year and finished No. 7 in the final D2Football.com poll.
Lynn is 6'1'', 220 pounds and very experienced at the linebacker position. He was an OLB as a sophomore and junior, then switched to ILB as a senior, which is where he will be playing at California University of PA.
Throughout Lynn's high school career, he played in 27 games and had 234 total tackles, 24 tackles for losses, 13 sacks, seven forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one interception, and one blocked field goal.
Also, here are the honors he gathered during his high school career: PA Football News First Team Academic All-State, four-time Letterman, two-year Varsity captain, two-time Big 7 Conference All- Star, and Tri-County Coaches Association All-Star, led team in tackles junior and senior years, defensive MVP, Old Spice Red Zone Player of the Year as a senior, and Rivals.com Two-Star Prospect.
The talent and work ethic Lynn produced was enough to get DI-AA and D-II coaches talking to him, in which he ultimately chose to enroll at California University of Pennsylvania.
He told me he doesn't think people pay enough attention to the Division I-AA or D-II schools. He also mentioned that plenty of great players have come from small schools, including Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, and Kurt Warner.
I agreed with him 100 percent, so I decided to do an interview with the superb athlete to try and get some discussion for more players than just the ones we see on television.
I came up with 10 questions to ask Spencer Lynn, and he gave me well, thought-through answers.
Here is my interview with Spencer Lynn:
Jonah Puls: Did you ever play any other sports while growing up?
Spencer Lynn: I used to play basketball and baseball, but I stopped playing both after ninth grade to really focus on football year-round. I fouled out of most basketball games; I guess I played too rough. I was pretty good at baseball though, probably better than I was at football, but I just didn't have a passion for it like I do for football.
JP: What would you consider to be your key to playing at such a high level?
SL: Hard work, dedication, and determination. It's that simple.
JP: While we talked, you mentioned you struggled at football when you were young. How were you able to turn everything around and become the player you are today?
SL: I owe it all to my work ethic. I'm still not the biggest, fastest, or best player out there, but no one works harder than me, and that's an advantage I'm going to keep for the rest of my football career.
JP: Everyone usually has someone they would like to thank for the most of there success. Is there anyone you would like to thank for helping you become so successful? If so, who and why?
SL: There are a lot of people that I have to thank for my success. I would first like to thank my parents, of course, for always supporting me in football, and stressing the importance of academics to me. Also, I would like to thank all of my high school coaches from this past year, especially my defensive coordinator, coach Berish, and my linebackers coach, coach Steeber. I also have to thank a family friend, Frank Menges, for sparking my interest in lifting in eighth grade, and our strength coach, coach Frank, for teaching me how to properly do the big lifts like squats, dead lifts, and cleans. I would definitely not be where I am today without these people, and I am very grateful for all they have done for me.
JP: What drove you to commit to California University of Pennsylvania?
SL: Their success the past five seasons is a big part of why I chose Cal U. I want to be a part of a winning program, and I want to start for them and do great things on the field. Also, it's close to home so I'll be able to workout with them all summer, and they have a great criminal justice program.
JP: What are your biggest fears about college (both on and off the field)?
SL: I wouldn't call them fears. Just challenges. Football-wise, it's going to be tough to learn a whole new defense, but I've been studying my defensive playbook like crazy ever since coach gave it to me, and it's starting to click for me. Another challenge will be adjusting to the speed of the game, but I've been working really hard on my speed training this offseason, so I'm sure I'll be able to adjust. School-wise, my biggest challenge will be balancing my schoolwork with football, but I was able to do it in high school, and I'm confident I will be able to do it in college as well.
JP: What are your goals by the time you graduate from college?
SL: My goals are to have a great football career at Cal U, and of course, get my degree in criminal justice.
JP: What are any goals you would like to achieve after college?
SL: After college, my goal is to play professional football. Whether it is in the NFL, CFL, or AFL—I want to keep playing football after college.
JP: I see that you have an academic award. These days, athletes seem to lose track of the fact that they are student athletes. Why do you place such an importance on academics?
SL: Academics are so important to me because I know I can't play football forever and one day I'm going to have to put my degree to use.
JP: What advice would you give to the kids out there would want to “dream big” and make it to college football?
SL: Always work hard in the weight room and in the classroom and never give up on your dream.
You can definitely see Lynn has a fantastic attitude and work ethic, and he will work his hardest to achieve all of his goals and to help bring California University of Pennsylvania to its highest potential.
Again, I thank Spencer Lynn for giving me the chance to do an interview with him, and I hope he is successful during his career at California University of Pennsylvania!
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Also, don't forget to follow Spencer Lynn @spencelynn