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  1. #1

    '10 CO ATH Danny Spond (2/1/10 Notre Dame LOI)

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    Columbine High School (Littleton, CO)

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    Height: 6 foot-3
    Weight: 232 lbs.
    Forty: 4.69 secs.
    Bench Max:
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    Danny Spond

  2. #2
    Danny's recruiting thread was another victim of the database purge so I am resurrecting a profile for him for the below listed free ISD story on him.

    BTW, this is the first time I have seen the YouTube video on him. He will probably never take a snap at ND but Spond has a nice passing touch as a QB and shows some solid athleticism throughout the highlight.

  3. #3

    The Important Things In Life

    Written by Christian McCollum
    Tuesday, 27 July 2010 00:02

    Don Spond never thought he would be able to get the ratty hat off of his son Danny’s head.

    “We’d buy him the same identical hat, but he wouldn’t change,” Don said.

    After years of trying, Don was finally able to get it off by supplying a duplicate and now, the worn-out Notre Dame lid sits idly on a mantle in the Spond household in Littleton, Colo. Danny began wearing Notre Dame gear as a two-year-old, started wrapping himself in an Irish blanket at five and his first password for his computer was ‘notredame.’

    Nobody in the Spond family can pinpoint exactly when Danny’s affection for the Irish began, but it likely had something to do with Notre Dame’s presence on national television, a grandfather who had a great deal of respect for the Irish football program and countless screenings of “Rudy”.

    Before becoming attached to that Notre Dame hat, Danny’s preferred headwear was a Riddell football helmet big enough to be spun completely around his head. The loose fit did not stop the five-year-old from turning snowmen into would-be ball carriers in the family’s backyard.

    “We’d build three or four snowmen,” Danny remembers. “I’d drop back like a linebacker and safety and, ‘Boom!’ right into one and the next and the next.”

    “His whole facemask would be completely filled with snow when he got up,” Don recalls. “He’d clean off the snow and do it again.”

    The snowmen were all Danny got to tackle until he was old enough to play organized football at seven years old.

    Few athletes have achieved the kind of youth success of Danny and his peers. Don coached the same group of kids in football, basketball and baseball. The bunch grabbed a couple of youth state titles in basketball, five baseball state championships and seven straight in football, when the team won 77 of 78 games. The one loss came in a game Danny missed because of an injury.

    Danny stood out in every sport, but always knew which one held his future.

    “Football was going to be his game from a very early age,” says Don. “He was just heads above all of the other kids. He wasn’t bigger than all of the other kids, but he was faster than them.”

    In 2006, Danny entered a high school as well known as any in the country, but he believes it is for the wrong reasons.

    Danny was a first-grader on April 20, 1999 and was first alerted that something was going on when he was not allowed to walk the hallways alone. School got out early that day, and when his parents picked him up, he found out about the shooting spree at Columbine High School.

    Schools around town were closed for a week and there was nothing on TV except stories about the tragedy.

    “It was pretty intense for a little while,” Danny remembers.

    The town pulled together and the Columbine community was a close as ever when Danny arrived seven years later.

    “Columbine is amazing, it’s the best place,” he says. “I wouldn’t have wanted to go anywhere else. Columbine is one of the most amazing places on this Earth. I could not be happier to spend my years there.

    “That’s something that will never be forgotten. I couldn’t be more proud to have been a Rebel and go to Columbine. It’s by far the best place in the world to me. They’ve become the victor over the victim in that situation.”

    Danny went to church with his family every Sunday, but admits that, until high school, he was more into going out to lunch afterward than enjoying Mass.

    “I started to pay attention in church and it started to hit home (in high school) when tough situations would come around,” he says. “I’ve taken that with me on the field and I always put God first in my life. I feel when you do that and you put others in front of you, good things will happen.”

    Danny started a youth Bible study group for kids who didn’t think it was cool and, he became the spokesman for the area’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes. His position as spokesman gave him the opportunity to speak at youth groups, churches and business meetings.

    “With God you can do anything and I’m a prime example of that,” he says. “I always try to be the best I can and show people that’s the way to go and with it, anything is possible.”

    “Danny’s faith is first above anything else,” says Don.

    Danny says his owes his faith to his father and his mother, Janet.

    “They would always make sure we understood to respect people and put others before yourself,” he says. “They brought us up right. It’s impossible to put into words how grateful I am for them.”

    As a freshman at Columbine, Danny started at linebacker on a state championship team and played varsity basketball and baseball his first two years of high school before giving those sports up to concentrate on football.

    There would be no more state titles, but Danny helped Columbine reach the state playoffs as a quarterback, safety, linebacker and kicker over his final three years. Recruiting got serious after his junior season and, he still dreamed of playing at Notre Dame. The Irish recruited him, but they did not come through with a scholarship offer.

    “Everybody has a dream, but if it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be,” he remembers thinking at the time.

    So in April of his junior year, Danny committed to his second favorite school, Colorado. As he watched the Buffaloes struggle through a 3-9 season in 2009, he began to wonder about Dan Hawkins’ status and his own future in the program. During a trip to the airport to pick up his sister over Thanksgiving, he told his father that he wanted to reopen his recruitment.

    “I realized I have bigger dreams that I’ve worked hard for,” he says.

    When word of his decommitment got out, Stanford and TCU quickly expressed interest before he got a phone call from Notre Dame assistant Tony Alford.

    “I was just like, ‘Wow. This is why I’ve played football for so many years, just to get that phone call,’” he says.

    Alford arranged a visit to Colorado and followed up with another call to offer a scholarship in mid-January.

    “Tears came to my eyes,” Danny says. “I couldn’t believe it. Something I worked so hard for over the years was happening.”

    Danny called his father to tell him the news.

    “Boy, it brought a tear to both of our eyes,” remembers Don. “We couldn’t believe it.”

    Don convinced his son to follow through on previously-scheduled visits to Stanford and TCU, but everyone knew what Danny’s decision would be, in fact, he had already made it. He verbally committed to Alford even before he made his trip to Notre Dame, but asked him to keep it quiet so he could do it in front of his parents and new head coach Brian Kelly.

    Danny made his first-ever trip to South Bend on the last weekend of January.

    “Even in January when it was four degrees out, it was everything I thought it would be,” he says. “The history and the people that were there and are there, it’s just an honor. When you walk in the stadium you remember the movie “Rudy” and Joe Montana and Lou Holtz. You’re just like, ‘Wow, this is crazy.’”

    Knowing there was a good chance their son would make a decision, Don and Janet accompanied Danny on the trip.

    “I was in awe,” recalls Don. “We went into the Basilica and our jaw about hit the ground. It’s just the most beautiful thing. I haven’t seen anything so beautiful. You picture your son or daughter going there and you know God has a hand in it.”

    Still, Don and Janet were left up all night as they pondered their son’s decision without trying to put too much pressure on him. Finally, on Saturday morning, the Sponds met with Kelly and Danny let everyone in on his choice.

    “It was a pretty special moment,” Don says. “The hair stands up on the back of your neck. You get goosebumps. My wife and I got teary, tears of joy. You always want the best for your kids. Going to Notre Dame, there’s no better place to have your kids go.”

    Don, a plumber, and Janet, a sixth-grade teacher, have seen their dedication pay off in the form of a daughter, Jill, who is a licensed lawyer in three different states, another daughter, Julie, who is a molecular biologist and a son, who is set to start his freshman year at the University of Notre Dame in a matter of weeks.

    “My parents are my hero and role models,” says Danny. “From day one, they’ve brought us up right in this house. I cannot thank them enough for everything they’ve given me. They’re the ultimate role models to me and I want to grow up to be the type of people that they are. I love them more than absolutely anything in this world. They made me who I am today.”

    The feeling is mutual and a day does not go by when Don does remind his son he is his best friend.

    “You always want your kids to look up to you, but when I look at Dan, I look up to him,” says Don. “Everything he does in his life. I tell him, ‘You know, Danny, you’ve got an aura about you. An aura is like a magnet and that magnet attracts people to you and you become the best leader to those people that want to be around you.’

    “He has that and there’s few people I know that have that aura.”

    Last edited by irishunclebill; 07-27-2010 at 12:53 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member SpanishElite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Florida by way of Eibar, Guipuzcoa Spain
    Great article. Of the ND "late commitments" of the 2010 class, I'm probably excited about Spond the most.

  5. #5
    Senior Member NDgrandson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Orange County, CA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Spond and Shembo: The year of the Dog (linebacker)

    Spond gets this article because he's my pick

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Keith Arnold is probably one of the better ND writers out there right now. He knows the team, has access to the team, and knows football.

    Great analysis. Thanks.

  8. #8
    Senior Member lowayne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by KamaraPolice View Post
    Keith Arnold is probably one of the better ND writers out there right now. He knows the team, has access to the team, and knows football.

    Great analysis. Thanks.
    I agree, although his 'look back' at what our expectations were last year seemed funny.
    "Doggonnit............The Lord gave you two legs, protect them" - Coach Hart

  9. #9
    Senior Member IrishCrasher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    Hamspring Questionable for Sat
    Cheers! Crasher
    go in there and fight, fight, fight, fight, fight!

    :goirish: IRISH GUARD GH-Division!

  10. #10
    Good news on Danny Spond who was thought to have suffered a concussion or worse. Diagnosis was no concussion and although he will not be immediately back on the field it is thought he will be able to return this year.

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