Spencer Webb has the size, the hands, the body, the ferocity.
He is blessed with the gifts college football recruiters from the most prominent programs covet, but the Christian Brothers High School senior had that extra something, too.
Webb came from a broken home but refused to be broken. With his parents out of his life, Webb found stability and solace in a brother twice his age. Cody Webb and wife Alicia took him into their West Sacramento home five years ago with the mandate that, with effort and with good grades, he could land a football scholarship.
That hope will become reality Wednesday, when the 6-foot-6, 240-pound tight end will sign a national letter of intent with Oregon. He plans to sign at Christian Brothers, flanked by teammates, faculty and coaches, and later celebrate with family.
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“A lot of kids grow up dreaming about playing in the NFL,” Webb said. “My dream was to play college football. Now I’ll have that chance. We’ve all worked so hard for this, and this signing is for my brother, too. My brother and (his wife) Alicia had a plan, and we did it. It wasn’t always easy, but I’ve always been driven to make people excited and proud.
“I’m an example of never giving up, and there were times where I could’ve given up. My brother easily could’ve given up on me, but he didn’t because he loves me, and I didn’t because we both knew what I could do with my life.”
Webb, who caught 61 passes for 1,063 yards and 23 touchdowns for a 10-3 playoff team last fall, is rated as the second best at his position on the West Coast, according to recruiting site 247Sports.
Webb said he is also beaming for his grandfather, Donald “Spido” Webb, a member of the Dixon High athletic Hall of Fame from his exploits in the 1940s. Spido died at 80 from cancer with his 5-year-old grandson holding his hand.
While praying before bed one night last spring, Webb asked his grandfather in spirit which college he should attend. Upon lifting his head, Webb said he saw a light flicker across a Ducks poster. A recruiting trip to Eugene later sealed the deal. He was recruited, in part, by Oregon assistant coach Marcus Arroyo, a one-time Colfax High record-setting quarterback.
Webb wore his grandfather’s military dog tags on his cleats at Christian Brothers, something he said he will do in Eugene.
On his Oregon expectations, Webb said, “It’d be cool to be a face of the franchise. When people see me in Eugene, I want them to see me as a good person. No matter if you’re a star player or at the bottom of the food chain, if you’re a good guy, good things happen.”
Christian Brothers coach Tyler Almond said rooting for Webb is easy.
“Our community and school is so proud of Spence,” Almond said. “He’s worked hard to get to this point and has a ton of work ahead of him in the new chapter of his life.
“Incredible kid who will leave a positive impact on our campus for years to come. Catholic school kid who turned down Notre Dame! The Ducks got a good one. The freakish thing is he has a ton of upside. He is still growing and can get a lot bigger and stronger. We look forward to watching Spencer play on Saturdays soon.”
Ducks teammate – A familiar face will join Webb in the Ducks’ 2018 recruiting class. Inderkum wide receiver Isaah Crocker is also expected to sign Wednesday with Oregon.
Crocker and Webb are the area’s highest ranked senior prospects, rated Nos. 26 and 31 in the state, respectively, according to 247Sports composite ranking. They have gotten to know each other during the recruiting process.
Crocker, known for his speed, was a focal point for an Inderkum team that went 11-1.
And Crocker is also moved by family. His mother, January Keene, was the victim of a fatal shooting in 2007. Crocker has a tattoo on his right arm that bears his mother’s name and a clock with the time she died: 1:50 a.m.
Crocker said he found strength in his father, Dwight Crocker, and in football.
“Sports helped me,” Crocker told The Bee this fall. “I could’ve gone down a really bad path. I think my mom is looking down on me, very proud.”
Said Webb, “Croc, he and I have become great friends. I’m super happy for him. It’s the power of sports, a great motivator to do well. You can go to practice and all of your worries disappear. Look what sports can do, especially football, which is such a great family sport. It can change your life.”