In this installment of The Recruiting Notebook, we meet a multitalented defender who could have an impact at multiple positions on the Miami defense: Colonial Heights (VA) Life Christian Academy LB/S Kaleb Spencer.
In a continuing and important effort to reshape the defense overall, Miami made the move to recruit Colonial Heights (VA) Life Christian Academy LB Kaleb Spencer for the 2023 recruiting class. A 6’2.5” 210lb ‘backer with speed and versatility, Spencer is an intriguing prospect for the future of the Miami defense.
Starting his career at Glouchester (VA) HS, Spencer got snaps on both offense and defense beginning in his freshman year. That continued in the abbreviated spring season because of COVID in 2021. Following that season, Spencer transferred to Life Christian Academy for his junior year, and immediately because a valued player in many positions on defense for LCA.
Following the Spring 2021 season, in a similar manner as many prospects, Spencer’s recruitment kicked off in a massive way that summer. He earned 10 offers between August and December, and things kept going through his junior season.
The big move for Spencer came in February 2022 when the Oklahoma Sooners offered him a scholarship. Offers kept coming in for Spencer, but Oklahoma clearly had his attention. He committed to the Sooners in May. And, for the longest time, that was settled science and Spencer was off the market. But, as the 2022 season progressed, Spencer’s name was mentioned in connection to Miami.
Spencer made a splash when Life Christian Academy took a trip to Ft. Lauderdale to play against Stranahan HS, home of a 2023 5-star receiver recruit. After a stellar showing in the 21-6 win over Stranahan, Spencer’s name was out there as a prospect, and one that Miami might need to take a closer look at moving forward.
After being committed to Oklahoma for the better part of 5 months, Spencer made the move that would end his recruitment. He decommitted from OU and flipped to Miami just before Halloween, and in doing so joined the Canes’ 2023 recruiting class.
On the 247sports composite, Spencer is a 3-star prospect, the #63 LB nationally, #18 in the State of Florida, and #746 player overall in this class.
Spencer committed to Miami after flipping his commitment from Oklahoma, with Arkansas being the other early finalist from a robust list of 26 offers from around the country.
As A Player
Spencer has good size at 6’2.5” 210lbs. He’s more built like a Safety than Linebacker at this point of his development. A bit of a tweener — not really a linebacker, not really a safety — the first thing that will need to happen for Spencer in college is deciding which way to take his physical development. Will he stay where he is and play as an in-the-box S or bulk up a bit to fit Cristobal’s ideal build for a full-time LB?
A rangy athlete, Spencer shows sideline to sideline speed on the field. He’s a monster in a spy role, able to track down running QBs and also get out to the flats to cover checkdown and swing routes.
Spencer is a powerful striker, routinely leveling heavy hits to opposing players all over the field. Spencer is decisive and when he makes up his mind to get downhill, he gets to the ball-carrier in a hurry, and violently. Even with that being the case, he’ll need to revisit his tackling (i.e. WRAPPING UP) technique when he gets to Miami.
Better in zone than man, Spencer has decent coverage knowledge and skills. Regardless of which position he settles at in the future, he should be able to continue playing sound zone coverage, whil adding the ability to run with slot receivers and tight ends and carry that coverage up the seam, a staple in every offensive playbook so you need defenders to handle that responsibility.
- Ferocious hitter
- Tweener — is he an LB or an S?
- Tackling technique
- Physical build (dependent upon future position)
Spencer is an interesting player because he could end up at either LB or S. He’s listed as an LB for now, so let’s assume he stays there. If he does, he continues the recent trend of Miami looking to increase the size, and more importantly, the athleticism at that position. With that being the case, there’s a world where Spencer is a solid addition to that room.
Regardless of which position he settles at, Spencer should be a longer term prospect, who will see the majority of his impact on the field down the line for the Canes. He should be a standout special teams player, at a minimum, with his role on defense dependent upon his physical and technical development. And, being honest, it’ll be a test for him, because Miami has several blue chip players at LB ahead of him, in this class, and on the horizon for future recruiting classes as well. Still, Spencer has solid potential, so don’t count him out, now or in the future.
That’s it for this installment of The Recruiting Notebook.