BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Wide receiver Ryan Spadola has enjoyed one of the finest careers of any wide receiver in Lehigh football history. His career in the brown and white concluded with 232 receptions for 3,611 yards, good for second in school annals. A two-time All-American and three-time first team All-Patriot League selection, Spadola was recently invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, February 20-26 in Indianapolis.
Spadola was notified of his invite on Friday, December 28, a day which brought plenty of anxiety as he waited to see if the invite would come.
“It was pretty surreal,” Spadola recalled. “I was checking my e-mail throughout the day; I just kept refreshing, waiting to see something come up. Right before dinner I received the message and I was able to take it all in and cherish the moment, and enjoy it with family and friends.”
The leading receiver on Lehigh’s back-to-back Patriot League Championship teams in 2010 and 2011, Spadola led the Mountain Hawks with 57 receptions for 851 yards in 2012, despite missing two games with mononucleosis. As a junior he set school single-season records for receptions (96) and yards (1,614) while adding 11 touchdowns. The illness cost Spadola a shot at All-America recognition in his senior season, but Spadola’s career body of work still impressed the NFL talent evaluators.
To prepare for the combine, Spadola has been training at Fit Speed Athletic Performance in Weston, Fla., a facility run by Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
“There are seven guys in our group and four coaches,” Spadola said. “The workouts pay a lot of attention to technique and the guys are able to get a lot of attention on an individual basis. It’s a really good fit.”
A typical day for Spadola now consists of speed and agility workouts and weightlifting in the morning and football activities – route running and film study – in the afternoon.
Spadola will be the second Lehigh football player in the last three years to participate at the combine. Will Rackley ’11 participated in the 2011 combine, two months before the Jacksonville Jaguars selected him in the third round (76th overall). Rackley is entering his third season with Jacksonville and was recently cleared to resume football activity after spending the 2012 season on injured reserve.
The 2013 NFL Draft will be held April 25-27 in New York.