Notes: Also was a three-time state qualifier in the triple jump as an Indiana prep. Walked on at NIU and appeared in 10 games as a true freshman in 2007 (wore jersey No. 3), recording 11 rushes for 61 yards (5.5-yard average) and zero touchdowns. Injured his knee against Kent State and missed the final two games. Played all 13 games in 08 (two starts) and rushed 88-429-8 (4.9) with four balls for 31 yards (7.7) and zero TDs. Was the teams leading rusher in 09 when he played all 13 games (four starts) and carried 179-1,038-19 (5.7) with 10-122-1 (12.2) receiving. Missed 10 spring practice while recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum. In the fall, was the Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Year after starting all 14 games and racking up 258-1,388-22 (5.4) rushing with 9-45-0 (5.0) receiving. Also notched 14 career special-teams tackles.
Positives: Competitive, tough and productive walked on and had to earn his keep. Good patience and vision understands timing in the running game. Good lateral agility to jump-cut and pop through the hole. Runs with attitude, does not go down easily and fights for extra yardage. Shows competitive speed. Good stiff-arm. Good hands. Tore up inferior competition.
Negatives: Needs to get stronger. Undersized and lacks bulk to make a living between the tackles. Is not powerful and is too easily turned on contact. Average burst and acceleration. Not a strong blocker. Was contained by Illinois and in the MAC title game against Miami (Ohio). Faced marginal competition, and durability could be a concern.
Summary: Scrappy, productive, smurf-sized former walk-on and change-of-pace back who comes from a mid-major school that has produced NFL runners in recent vintage. Speed and special-teams ability will determine his value.
NFL projection: Priority free agent.http://www.profootballweekly.com/prospects/player/chad-spann-28/