Noah Spence speaks Dan Leberfeld

If Eastern Kentucky outside linebacker Noah Spence is around at 20, he would be perfect for the Jets. He could give them the edge pass-rusher they desperately need.


However, he comes with some risk. He failed a couple tests at Ohio State for the drug Ecstacy, and had to leave the program. He was grilled at the combine about his actions. Here is that conversation . . .

Q)How are you handling the questions from teams about your past?

Spence: I’m just telling the truth. My whole story, it’s all out there. I’m just not holding anything back.

Q)What is your story?

Spence: I failed two drug tests and they got me suspended.

Q)Were both failed tests for Ecstasy?

Spence: Yeah.

Q)Are you tired of answering those questions?

Spence: I knew it was coming. I’m not tired of answering them. I’m used to it.

Q)Do have think teams have some concerns about you?

Spence: For sure. With anybody with a substance abuse problem that they’ve had, I feel like they’re pretty leery about it. But if you can put it behind you can convince the team it’s behind you.

Q)How did you put it behind you?

Spence: Just stayed on top of it. Been drug tested frequently. And put my focus more on football, school and stuff like that.

Q)Did you have to change who were were hanging out with?

Spence: There’s a group of people I can’t hang with. I have to be more myself and stay away from that party scene. It was more like partying and going out. Every time I did [Ecstacy], it was me going out and partying.

Q)How has all of this impacted your family?

Spence: They just wanted to see me do better. It was never like, “Oh, what did you do? Why did you do that?” That type of deal. It was embarrassing for them, but it was never like trying to put me down.

Q)How has you lifestyle changed?

Spence: I spend a lot more time by myself now. I have a girlfriend now. I go to movies, chill, stuff like that. I don’t do much partying nowadays.

Q)What led to the problem in the first place?

Spence: Honestly, it was more me going to parties and stuff like that. It was never really an addiction.

Q)How do you prove this is not a pattern?

Spence: I feel like everything is done and it’s out in the open. I never got away with anything. It’s all there.

Q)What are your biggest strengths, weaknesses?

Spence: My biggest strength is pass rush. I’m relentless on the field. I think I can get better with my run-stopping abilities and playing within the framework of the defense.

Q)Who did you lean on to help you through the tough times?

Spence: My Dad. I leaned on him a lot during the process.

Q)How often are you drug tested?

Spence: Every week now and I was on every drug test at Eastern Kentucky. After I failed at Ohio State (the first time) I was drug tested like twice a week up until I left.

Q)Are you a risky pick for teams?

Spence: No. Not at all.


March 2, 2016

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