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LA Wildcats WR Nelson Spruce: The XFL Hometown Hero

When you look across the XFL and see the many guys who could make the jump to the NFL, one of the first guys who will jump off the page is Nelson Spruce. As a result of an injury, Spruce was unable to play in the last 2 games of the Wildcats season. However, in just 3 games Spruce had 20 catches for 256 yards and 2 TD’s. He was in the Top 10 for both receiving yards and receiving TD’s. 

Playing for the Wildcats was a hometown reunion for Spruce. Spruce, a Southern California native played his high school ball at Westlake High School, the same school as Milwaukee Brewers star Christan Yelich, and played under the legendary Southern California high school coach, Jim Benkert.

Spruce then went on to play at the University of Colorado. Spruce had a legendary career at Colorado breaking roughly 41 school/conference records. Although Spruce went undrafted out of college he was signed by his hometown Los Angles Rams and earned himself a spot on the roster.

Unfortunately, he suffered a knee injury and was therefore released. Spruce then bounced around practice squads before finding a home with the San Diego Fleet of the AAF. Right off the bat, Spruce proved to be one of the league’s top receivers. Spruce ended his 8 games in the AAF with 38 receptions, 426 yards, and 2 TD’s.

 After the AAF fell apart Spruce then found joined the LA Wildcats… playing in his hometown once again. As Spruce put on a show for the young fans who are growing up similar to how he did, he was able to become a role model for kids all around. Just after the 2nd LA Wildcats home game, there were kids begging for Spruce’s autograph and one kid even had a picture of Spruce as his home screen on his phone. 

Although Spruce would play anywhere that presented the opportunity, Spruce  described playing at home as, “an added bonus, being close to the family and playing in front of the hometown fans is amazing.” 

Although the XFL’s inaugural season was canceled and thus cut short, Spruce not only is working hard for a chance to continue playing football in the NFL but also deserves one.

Ryan Moeller who played with Spruce both at Colorado and with the Fleet described Spruce’s work ethic as, “always looking for that little detail…he puts in the work and executes on things that other players think they can overlook. Moeller has the utmost respect for Spruce as Spruce, “hunts for those little nuances to give him his advantage in a game.” 

Although every Wildcat fan had an amazing time watching Spruce this past season, all those fans do not want to see Spruce in a Wildcats jersey again because he deserves to be wearing an NFL jersey. 

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Growing up northwest of Los Angeles, Matthew Shapiro has lived and breathed sports from a young age. As a youth writer/reporter for the LA Wildcats, Matthew has combined his love for writing and sports. Outside of football, Matthew is a huge Lakers fan and wrote about the Lakers prior to joining XFL News Hub. You can follow Matthew on Twitter @matthewxfl or email him at

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