BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Eastern Kentucky University junior Noah Spence (pictured) was chosen as the Ohio Valley Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year, the league announced Tuesday, Nov. 24 from its Brentwood, Tennessee headquarters.
The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native was also chosen first team All-OVC and picked for the OVC All-Newcomer team.
Spence, who transferred to EKU from Ohio State, made an immediate impact in his first season in maroon and white. The defensive end finished the regular season ranked fourth nationally in tackles for a loss (2.0/game), fifth in sacks (1.05/game) and 22nd in forced fumbles per game (0.27).
Overall Spence had 22.5 tackles for a loss and 11.5 sacks, the fourth-most in EKU single-season history. He also contributed 63 tackles (31 solo), 15 quarterback hurries, forced three fumbles and recovered two fumbles. He had at least one sack in nine of 11 games including 2.5 combined in two games against FBS opponents.
His play up front, which included seeing numerous double teams, helped EKU rank 15th nationally in rush defense (111.8 yards per game allowed).
Spence was named OVC Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 18 after registering seven tackles, 3.5 tackles-for-loss and 1.5 sacks in a road victory over Southeast Missouri. He also added 3.5 tackles-for-loss in a double overtime road win over Murray State and had a season-high eight tackles against Austin Peay.
Spence is the 14th Eastern Kentucky player to be named OVC Defensive Player of the Year (a group that includes former NFL players Aaron Jones, Chad Bratzke and Yeremiah Bell) and first since the 2010 season (defensive lineman Andrew Soucy).
Dino Fanti of Eastern Illinois was also chosen as OVC Co-Defensive Player of the Year.
EKU Athletics Photo