Is Cole Spencer healthy enough for a full season?
Cole Spencer is a player that the casual Texas Tech football observer won’t know. But he’s also a player that the informed fan has been waiting to see in scarlet and black for over a calendar year now.
Prior to last season, the former all-conference guard at Western Kentucky was arguably the program’s top portal addition. With five seasons and 44 starts under his belt, including a year spent playing for Kittley in 2021 when Kittley was coordinating the WKU offense, he was expected to solidify Tech’s lackluster offensive line.
However, prior to the season a back injury that required surgery would crop up causing him to miss most of the offseason. And before the fall would hit the end of September, he would be ruled out for the year before ever taking a snap.
It was the second-straight significant injury of Spencer’s career. In 2021 he played through a ruptured patella tendon in his knee thus giving reason for Tech fans to wonder if Spencer is able to be counted on for a full season.
There is no way around it; Spencer must play and play well at left guard for Tech to be the type of team that puts up offensive numbers that most are expecting. That’s because there simply aren’t any good alternatives behind him.
If Spencer is at his best, he could be one of the better linemen in the Big 12. He was named to the Outland Trophy (given annually to the nation’s top offensive linemen) watchlist last offseason (before his injury) and he has garnered all-conference honors in his career (though not at the Power-5 level).
It could be argued that Spencer is the key to everything Tech wants to do on the line. Many think he’s got NFL talent and that is something that is invaluable for a program that has not had an offensive lineman drafted prior to the 7th round since Le’Raven Clark in 2016.
Spencer must be an upgrade this fall and for that to happen, he must be healthy and available. If that doesn’t happen, the line isn’t going to reach its full potential.