Troy Christian’s Peyton Spurlock signs to play football at Urbana University

05/18/2017

Photo by Lee Woolery | Speedshot Photo Troy Christian wide receiver Peyton Spurlock (right) recently signed his national letter of intent to play football at Urbana University.

By David Fong

dfong@civitasmedia.com

TROY — Four years ago, Peyton Spurlock faced an uncertain football future.

The Troy Christian senior had just played his final game for the
Eagles’ eighth grade team and, considering the high school program had
not fielded a team that fall due to lack of participation, he feared his
career may have come to an abrupt end.

“It was a stressful time,” Spurlock said. “I remember playing my last
game as an eighth grader. We played Waynsefield-Goshen right out here
on Eagle Field. After the game I remember thinking that it could have
been my last game. We didn’t have a high school team that year and we
didn’t know if they were going to have one the next year — and I was
never going to leave Troy Christian.”

Spurlock’s faith would ultimately pay off, as he would get to play
four years of high school football, as the program was revived his
freshman year under Steve Nolan, who would then hand it off to former
assistant coach Ryan Jones last fall. He’ll also get an opportunity to
play four more years at Urbana University, where he recently signed a
letter of intent to play football.

Spurlock had a breakout season for the Eagles as a senior, excelling
at both wide receiver and defensive back. He would help lead Troy
Christian to a 9-2 record, a Division VII state ranking and a spot in
the regional playoffs. Following the season, he was named honorable
mention All-Southwest District as a receiver.

“Peyton plays with a lot of enthusiasm,” Jones said. “Offensively,
he’s really made great strides in the three years I’ve been here. He’s
greatly improved his route running, his blocking and his understanding
of how to get open. I think he’s a kid who probably could play on either
side of the ball, but he’s probably better suited to play offense.

“In college, he’s going to be able to focus on one side of the ball,
and I think he’s just going to get better and better. I think it’s going
to be a lot of fun to watch him grow and develop. He’s a kid who made a
lot of great plays for us at critical times. He’s got all the tools to
be a great college receiver.”

At Urbana, an NCAA Division II program, Spurlock will play for head
coach Tyler Haines, a Piqua High School graduate. Spurlock said the
family atmosphere at Urbana — which reminds him of Troy Christian — is
what ultimately made him want to play for the Blue Knights.

“I liked the culture, the atmosphere and the relationship the coaches
have with the players,” Spurlock said. “When I met with the coaches,
they knew all about a player’s family, where they went to high school,
all of those things. When I talked to some of the current players, they
said they didn’t regret anything about spending the last four or five
years there.

“It’s like a brotherhood there. Off the field, they are brothers.
It’s similar to Troy Christian. Plus, it’s close enough that my family
and the Troy Christian community can still come and watch me play. That
was important to me.”

Contact David Fong at dfong@civitasmedia.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong