Four Total Illinois Players Drafted in 2013 is More Than Any Other B1G Team
Buchanan, Hawthorne, Spence & Thornton Among Top Performers in Multiple Drills
42 Illini Earned at Least a 3.0 GPA and Five Graduated Following Fall 2012
RS Junior DT Will Forgo Senior Season After Earning Degree at Illinois
Four More Illini Honorable Mention Selections
Illinois football vs. Minnesota @ Memorial Stadium 9/10/12
Illinois vs. Indiana 10/27/2012 @ Memorial Stadium
Illinois vs Western Michigan 9/1/2012
Illinois at No. 21 Penn State Photos - 10/29/11. Photos from AP and Mark Jones
2012 - RS Junior: Honorable mention All-Big Ten selection by both coaches and media ... Started all 12 games in 2012 and started all 38 games of his UI career at defensive tackle ... Ranked third on the team in tackles with 72 and tied for second on team with 7.0 TFLs ... Set career highs in tackles (11), solos (7) and TFLs (2.0) at Northwestern ... Led the team with nine tackles against Purdue, including five solos ... Posted nine tackles, including 1.5 TFLs, against Minnesota ... Made six tackles, including a half-sack, at Ohio State ... Recorded five tackles against Indiana ... Registered five tackles, including one TFL, at Michigan ... Recorded five tackles at Wisconsin ... Had nine tackles, including one TFL against Penn State ... Recorded seven tackles against Louisiana Tech ... Had a half-TFL and a hurry against Charleston Southern ... Forced a goal-line fumble on the opening drive at Arizona State ... Recorded a half-sack and half-TFL to go along with three tackles against Western Michigan ... Named to the preseason watch lists for the Outland Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award.
2011 - RS Sophomore: Started all 13 games on the season ... Ranked fourth on the team with 69 tackles on the season, including 5.5 TFLs and 1.5 sacks ... Notched two tackles and a half-sack in Illinois' win over UCLA in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl ... Recorded seven tackles against Minnesota ... Tied career high with nine tackles and a half-TFL against Michigan ... Recorded six tackles and one TFL at Penn State ... Posted eight tackles, one TFL and forced and recovered a fumble at Purdue ... Recorded five tackles, one TFL and a half-sack against Ohio State ... Posted a career-high nine tackles in win over Northwestern ... Posted four tackles, including a half-TFL and half-sack, against Arizona State ... Notched three tackles, including a TFL and a QB hurry, in win over South Dakota State ... Was the 2012 NW Florida All Sports Association Collegiate Award Winner.
2010 - RS Freshman: First-team Freshman All-American by Phil Steele and Rivals.com and second-team Freshman All-American by CollegeFootballNews.com ... Named to the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Freshman All-America Team ... Started all 13 games at defensive tackle alongside All-American Corey Liuget ... Shared team's Most Improved Award with Jarred Fayson ... Had 45 tackles, 4.0 TFLs, 1.0 sacks, two hurries and one fumble recovery on the season ... Recorded his first career fumble recovery in Texas Bowl win over Baylor ... Had three tackles and one QB hurry in win over Northwestern ... Recorded three tackles and one TFL against Minnesota ... Tallied six tackles, including four solos, at Michigan ... Posted a career-high eight tackles, including four solos and a half-TFL, in victory over Purdue ... Recorded three tackles, one TFL and his first career QB hurry against Michigan State ... Recorded seven tackles and a half-TFL against Ohio State ... Tallied two solo tackles, one QB sack and one TFL in win over Southern Illinois ... Started at defensive tackle in his collegiate debut against Missouri.
2009 - Freshman: Redshirted the 2009 season.
High School: Rated the No. 34 defensive tackle nationally by ESPNU ... Recorded 80 tackles and five sacks as a senior ... Ranked the No. 88 defensive tackle by Scout.com ... Helped lead team to a 10-2 record and district championship ... Played in the Florida state all-star game ... Posted 67 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and two sacks in 2007 ... Threw shot put and discus in track ... High school coach was Mike Owens.
Personal: Son of Floyd and Karen Spence ... Born on Nov. 29, 1991 ... Earned bachelor's degree in communication in Dec. 2012 ... Chose Illinois over Iowa State, Syracuse, N.C. State and South Florida.