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30 Greatest Tigers of the Decade: #20 Marcus Spears

#20 Marcus Spears
#20 Marcus Spears

Marcus Spears was not just a two-sport star and the #1 tight end recruit in the country.  He was rated by SuperPrep as the #3 recruit in the country.  Before there was Joe McKnight, there was Marcus Spears.  Outside of Kevin Faulk, he might be the single most important recruit signed by LSU after the Hallman Era.  Spears, simply by showing upon campus, was a big deal and a sign that LSU could finally lock down its own state borders. 

Upon arriving on campus, Spears promised to do it all, and almost did.  He never got around to playing for the basketball team, but he played three positions his freshman year.  He even caught two passes before finally settling in as a defensive end.  Still, he was named to the SEC All-Freshman team as a tight end in 2001. 

From that point on, he was a holy terror, and the standard by with all LSU pass rushers shall be judged.  Though he'll always be remembered, strangely enough, for an interception.  He displayed his athletic gifts by stopping in mid-rush to pick off the Oklahoma pass and rumble into the end zone.  That's one of those all-time highlight reel plays. 

His senior year, he was named the team MVP and an All-American.  He finished first team All-SEC for the second straight year.  He also set up camp in the opposition's backfield in his final two seasons.  In his junior and senior years, he had 30 tackles for a loss and 15 sacks, not to mention two picks.  Spears was not just a lauded recruit, he was a lauded recruit who lived up to every last bit of the hype.