Dresden (Ohio) Tri Valley two-way lineman Ryan Spiker is one of the top interior line prospects in the state. The 6-foot-4, 295-pounder has already racked up a nice list of scholarship offers, but he's working harder this off-season on getting even better and better.
"I don't want to say I'm good at everything, because there is always room for improvement," he said. "I have strengths in everything – run blocking and pass blocking. We run the gun, but we're about 50-50 run-pass. I do a lot of trap blocking and pulling.
"This year, I'm going to have to step up and be more of a leader. I haven't really had to take a role yet in leadership. Coach talked to me more about that and how I will have to do more. I'm not a real upbeat guy. I'll get after people and tell them to get better. I'll do whatever it takes."
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And that starts by working hard and setting a good example in the weight room and in training this spring.
"We've been staying after school working on agility, speed, change of direction, explosiveness and a quick first step," he said. "We're doing a lot of five work, where you really work on your first five-steps."
Spiker said he never expected to garner this much early attention from the college coaches, especially when you consider that Dresden, Ohio, is hardly a must-stop spot for college recruiters.
"If was sitting here as a freshman talking to you about this I would have never thought I would be where I'm at now," he said. "But now that it's all here it's a pretty good feeling, especially from small town.
"It gets around town about how you're doing. After I got my first offer from Indiana, it got out pretty quick. Everywhere I go they ask and they all know who I am. I like it. It's pretty neat coming from a small town that I'm from."
Along with the aforementioned offer from Indiana, Spiker has offers from West Virginia, Miami University, Buffalo, N.C. State and Cincinnati.
"I went and visited Indiana and West Virginia, and I liked everybody, especially all the coaches," Spiker said. "I'm not going to stay I know the coaches fully. They're trying to get you to go there, but they all seem pretty cool. It's early, though."
Two other Big Ten teams also fully have Spiker's attention.
"I'm going to Ohio State's spring game Saturday," he said.
"I've been up there a few times. They're sending me mail. This is what coach (Jim Bollman) told me when I was up there at the junior day. He talked to me by myself and said, 'we wouldn't have you up here if we didn't think you were good. We're a little slower than some schools to offer guys.' He said, 'we'd like to see you in camp and see how you move.' I'm going to go up there for camp again on June 20th.
"I'm also going to Illinois' camp on June 8. Their coach told me that recruiting is kind of like buying a new car. He said 'if you're going to buy a car from out of state, you want to drive it before you buy it.' They want to see how I move and bend in camp."