EKU's Noah Spence Named Defensive Player Of Year & All-American
RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University defensive end Noah Spence (pictured) was chosen as the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) National Defensive Performer of the Year by College Football Performance Awards on Wednesday and earned his fourth All-America honor when he was named to the College Sporting News 2015 Fabulous Fifty FCS All-America Team on Tuesday, Jan. 12. The goal of College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferment in college football. CFPA recognizes award recipients based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams. After an extensive review of the existing data, literature, and evidence, it was determined that Spence finished the 2015 season with the strongest defensive performance in FCS football. As prominent scholars from a wide variety of disciplines note, CFPA eliminates the politics and biases that vitiate balloting-based awards. Unlike other All-American teams, the CSN squad is designed to be like a real team, capable of taking the field and competing in a game. The Fabulous Fifty also emphasizes players who have exhibited character and other team-oriented traits, not just lofty statistics, or talent.
Spence was also chosen first team All-America by STATS, the Associated Press and the Walter Camp Foundation. Spence announced in December that he will forgo his final season of collegiate eligibility and enter the 2016 National Football League (NFL) draft. He finished fourth in voting for the STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year Award, was chosen as the 2015 Ohio Valley Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year and selected to play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl. The 6-foot-3 defensive end made an immediate impact after transferring from Ohio State. He finished the 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 the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native 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, a redshirt junior, earned his degree on Dec. 11.
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