Rowe, Spencer Nevada’s odd couple
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – Caleb Spencer and Jeff Rowe grew up approximately 2,531 miles apart from each other.
Yet after three years of working together at Nevada, you would think the pair grew up down the street from each other and grew up stealing cookies out of each other’s kitchen.
They have developed a chemistry that comes from working out together on a daily basis; from lifting weights, running and in Spencer’s case, catching probably a million footballs from the strong-armed Rowe. They have enjoyed success and failure together like true friends do.
And, their friendship has extended to off-the-field activities. When Spencer got married this past summer, Rowe was the only member of the team to attend. In fact, a family friend of Rowe’s was the official photographer for Spencer’s wedding.
“He’s always over at the house,” Spencer said, glancing at Rowe, who was conducting an interview in another part of the room. “My wife (Megan) is always cooking up a storm. His parents are always inviting me over to their house. We’ve become really good friends.”
In fact, Spencer said Rowe, as good friends will do, always chides Spencer and asks him who invited him over when the receiver shows up at Rowe’s parents’ house for dinner.
“He’s really a good guy,” Rowe said. “We do a lot of things together. He’s easy to work with. When I first met him, I thought he was so laid back. He wants to be the best.”
Spencer has caught more than 60 passes in each of the last two seasons, and he quickly has developed into the Pack’s clutch receiver, somebody that Rowe looks for whenever he gets in trouble.
Does Spencer always clamor for the ball?
“No more than any receiver does,” Rowe said, smiling. “Every receiver always feels he can beat coverage on a certain route.”
It’s during those troubled times when the intended receiver is locked up, covered too tightly or he’s flushed out of the pocket that Rowe instinctively looks to see where Spencer is on the field. The pair seem to know how to read each other and make a play out of nothing.
Part of that is Rowe’s ability to escape pressure, and part of that is Spencer’s ability to break off a route and find an open area to settle into. The ability to do that comes with experience, and Spencer has improved dramatically in the last two years.
“Caleb was a quarterback and we put him at wide receiver,” Nevada head coach Chris Ault said. “He (Spencer) couldn’t come here now (where he was back then) and play. He’s really developed himself into a nice receiver.
“It (the chemistry) is pretty strong. They have a great feeling for each other. There’s a bond. It’s something special. They have a clear understanding of what we’re trying to do.”
That’s to move the football, score touchdowns and win games.
Notes: The Wolf Pack football team will hold its annual youth football clinic on Aug. 12 at Wolf Pack Park. The clinic is open to boys and girls and will run from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. Kids should have cleats or tennis shoes. For more information, call the Nevada football office, 784-6891.