Each week during the college football season Uplifting Athletes will highlight one of its student-athlete chapter leaders with an in-depth Q&A.
Name: Joe Spencer
College: University of Illinois
Height, weight, class, position: 6-4, 300, sophomore, offensive line
High School: Mason, Ohio
About Joe Spencer: Came to the Illini from Ohio after a solid high school career where he made second-team All-State and was a member of the Ohio Big 33 squad. After using his redshirt as a freshman in 2012, Spencer managed to play in eight games and started two of those last season as a sophomore. The Uplifting Athletes Illinois Chapter President, Spencer is a business major who was an academic All-Big Ten honoree last season.
As a player, what is your favorite part of the game day experience at your home stadium?
SPENCER: My favorite part of game day at Memorial Stadium is singing “Hail to the Orange” with our band and student sections after every Illinois victory.
What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes, and what, if anything, has this experience done for you?
SPENCER: What drove me to get involved in Uplifting Athletes was the opportunity to raise awareness and funds for the research of a rare disease that affect a friend and teammate of mine, Andrew Carter. My experience with Uplifting Athletes has shown the ways that being a college football can not only benefit yourself but also help those around you for a greater good.
What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?
SPENCER: As a college football player my most memorable experience so far in my career has been my first career start in 2013 against Southern Illinois. Playing for the first time is an experience and feeling that I will never be able to replicate again in my life.
What is the toughest team you’ve faced or regularly play, and what makes them so difficult?
SPENCER: The toughest team we face on the regular would be Ohio State. The reason for this is because during my time of playing college football they have had one of the best defensive lines in the country and each time we play them it always provides a tough test.
What is your chosen major, and what if anything have you used from that major as a contribution to your Uplifting Athletes Chapter?
SPENCER: My chosen major is Finance. This major has helped me contribute to our chapter of Uplifting Athletes because it has given me perspective and insight on the monetary side of putting on a Lift for Life as well as for raising money for acoustic neuroma.
Besides one of your teammates, name a college football player you enjoy watching?
SPENCER: One college football player I enjoy watching is Todd Gurley a running back on Georgia. He is a special athlete who always seems to be making plays all over the field.
Who is your favorite NFL player and why?
SPENCER: My favorite NFL player is AJ Green. The reason for this is because is he the best player on my favorite team, the Cincinnati Bengals.
What is your favorite road stadium to play in and why?
SPENCER: My favorite road stadium to play in is Ohio Stadium. The reason for this is because I am from Ohio so when we play there a large amount of my family and friends are able to attend the game which makes it a special environment for me.
In your words, what are some of the things you are looking for in life after football?
SPENCER: Some things that I am looking forward to in life after football is taking all of the traits that I have gained through playing football and applying them to a successful career in the business world. Along with this I hope to be able to travel to Europe and to see what tailgating a football game is like since I have always been playing on game day.