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Football: Some good news for North Texas


Football: Some good news for North Texas

Article from the Denton Chroniles

Spencer catches on with Chargers

09:29 AM CDT on Thursday, May 28, 2009
By Brett Vito / Staff Writer

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Waiting his turn is nothing new to Truman Spencer.

The former North Texas punter walked on with the Mean Green in 2004 and had to wait a year to land a scholarship and the starting job.

Truman Spencer The former Mesquite Horn standout went through a similar experience over the last few weeks before his wait for a shot to make an NFL roster ended. Spencer signed a two-year contract with the San Diego Chargers.

He has spent the last few days in San Diego, getting to know his coaches and teammates, and worked out with the team on Wednesday.

“It’s really exciting to be around all these players around here like LaDainian Tom-linson, Shawne Mer-riman and those guys,” Spencer said. “I played golf with Darren Sproles. Everyone has been really nice.”

Spencer was a first-team All-Sun Belt Conference selection last season, but wasn’t chosen in the NFL draft.

Fortunately for Spencer, a connection with San Diego special teams coach Steve Crosby helped land him an opportunity to participate in the Chargers’ offseason organized team activities.

Crosby’s son Jeff works in the UNT athletic department.

“Coach Crosby texted me after the draft and asked if I had signed with anyone,” Spencer said. “They had brought in another punter who didn’t work out. That’s how I got invited.”

Spencer’s contract is a basic one for a free agent. If he makes the team, he would earn the NFL minimum of $310,000 in his first season and $395,000 the second year.

The odds of Spencer making the team are small. The Chargers have one of the top punters in the NFL in seven-year veteran Mike Scifres, who has been named an alternate to the AFC Pro Bowl squad the last two seasons.

“What I am going to try to do is get out there and get some game film in the preseason,” Spencer said. “I will give their starting punter a break and kick off some to give their kicker a break. If they decide not to keep me, I could get picked up by someone else.”

Spencer averaged 42.4 yards a punt last year with a long of 65 yards. He had 10 punts downed inside the 20-yard line.

Spencer expects to be in San Diego until the end of June. He should hear late this summer if he will be invited back for training camp.

Several UNT players have made the NFL as undrafted free agents over the last several years, including Miami Dolphins running back Patrick Cobbs, one of Spencer’s former teammates.

Toby Gowin punted for three teams, including the Cowboys, after a standout career at UNT.

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