Spicer Proves His Versatility On, Off Football Field
Photo Credit: Lyn Tracy Images
Whether you’re rich or poor, hard work breeds success for athletes young or old. Linebacker Jerimiah Spicer from Los Angeles, California grew up in a tough environment in Skid Row after being taken from his mother at two years old.
“My feet were bleeding every day when I used to walk downtown with my mother,” Spicer said. “She didn’t give me shoes because she was on drugs.”
Spicer lived with his grandmother until he was placed in foster care at 11-years old. From there, he bounced around going to eight different high schools finishing at Banning High School in Banning, California.
He would go on to play his first college ball at Riverside City College before going to Bethesda University—where he didn’t play. Since then, Spicer has had success in the arena football, even leading the league in tackles American Arena League. Spicer also led the Socal Coyotes in special teams tackles and was often used as a utility player.
He often trains twice a day in the desert preparing for combines and workouts with NFL teams. His versatility in playing all around the defense, including all front seven positions, sparked interest in numerous NFL teams like the Cleveland Browns.
“I’ve been talking to a few for the past two years,” Spicer said. “I’ve been going to meetings and tours and stuff, I just had a workout with Browns and 49ers after the season with the Cape Fear Heroes. but the Chargers are the ones pulling the trigger right now.”
His versatility and dominance led to him earning a spot on the American Arena League All-Star team. In fact, the California native gave himself a different position title that he identifies himself as a player.
“I’m an athlete,” Spicer said. “If the job isn’t getting done down there, coach is going to put me down there. I have highlights on every single position [on the defensive line].”
Spicer is also a man of many other talents outside of football, including music and cutting hair. But the hobby he loves the most is his career as a motivational speaker and using his football travel schedule to spread his message to motivate younger kids to pursue bigger and better lives.
“I like to help people. I’ve spoken to over 25,000 kids already,” Spicer said. “I let them know what I’ve been through, they asked me the questions and I tell them the truth. I tell them if you don’t do it right the first time, it’s going to be hard the second time.”
Spicer has simple messages for kids whenever he talks to them—to pursue what they love and not let anyone say that they are nothing.
“You gotta just chase your dreams man,” Spicer said. “A lot of people told me I’d be nothing, I was just a group home kid, I was a foster kid, I was supposed to be dead or in jail, all this other stuff.”
Spicer points to his sister and himself as prime examples that the status quo is not the end game for everyone in his position.
“Me and my sister, we already beat the odds,” Spicer said. “My sister was in foster care too, she has two kids now.”
Spicer also credits football for bringing him closer with the family that he had previously never met.
“Football’s helped me a lot in my life,” Spicer said. “It’s helped me bring a lot of things together, a lot of people together in my life.”
His No.1 love is football, but the fame and riches of playing the game isn’t his main reason for the goal, but to spread his message and help ones in need.
“I wanna be able to help more people that’s what I get a kick out of,” Spicer said. “I use my adversity to help people and myself during the game.”
Spicer had a message to whoever is going through what he experienced—hold on and follow the visions you have for yourself.
“Just keep grinding man,” Spicer said. “It’s all about your heart and how bad you want because time waits on no man and we’re all getting older.”