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Marcel Spears named Big 12 Defense Player of the Week

Sep 9, 2017; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones linebacker Marcel Spears Jr. (42) tackles Iowa Hawkeyes running back Akrum Wadley (25) at Jack Trice Stadium. The Hawkeyes won 44-41 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The following is a press release courtesy of Iowa State Athletics Communications.

IRVING, Texas – The Big 12 Conference announced today that Iowa State sophomore linebacker Marcel Spears was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week.

A native of Olathe, Kan., Spears played a huge role in Iowa State’s third-straight win against Texas Tech on Saturday.

Spears, who had seven tackles in the game, sealed the victory with his fourth quarter, 61-yard interception return for a touchdown.

After Texas Tech had trimmed the lead to 24-13, Spears perfectly read a TTU screen pass and ran untouched for the pick-six to put the game out of reach.

It was Iowa State’s third interception return for a TD this season, tying for third nationally.

Spears is having an outstanding season, ranking fourth in the Big 12 and 44th nationally in tackles per game at 8.7. He is also tied for the team lead in forced fumbles with two.

This is the third-straight week an ISU player has been honored by the league: Joel Lanning (Def. PoW- Oklahoma), Kyle Kempt (Off. PoW- Oklahoma) and Trever Ryen (ST PoW- Kansas).

No. 25 Iowa State, 5-2 overall and 3-1 in Big 12 play, will play host to No. 4 TCU on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT.

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.