High School and College Career
Tyjae Spears started at Ponchatoula High School prior to joining Tulane University.
As a freshman in 2019, Spears played in 4 games for the Green Wave, where he demonstrated his prowess as a running back. He ran for an impressive 182 yards on 30 attempts, averaging 6.1 yards per carry, with one touchdown and no fumbles. In terms of receiving, he made only 5 receptions for 128 yards.
The following year, as a sophomore in 2020, Spears played in just 3 games and he rushed for 274 yards on 37 carries, averaging an incredible 7.4 yards per carry. He also scored 2 touchdowns and had no fumbles. However, in the receiving game, he only recorded 2 receptions for 30 yards.
As a junior in 2021, Spears played in 12 games, and rushed for an impressive 863 yards on 129 attempts, averaging 6.7 yards per carry. In addition, he scored 9 touchdowns, albeit with 1 fumble. As a receiver, Spears made 19 receptions for 145 yards.
In 2022, as a senior, Spears continued to raise the bar for himself and his team. He played in 13 games and dominated the field, running for an astounding 1381 yards on 214 carries, averaging an elite 6.5 yards per carry. He also tallied an impressive 15 touchdowns with one fumble. He recorded 21 receptions for an elite 237 yards in the passing game.
Tyjae Spears Scouting Report Introduction
Tyjae Spears’ journey to lead Tulane in rushing yards the past two seasons has not been easy. In early 2020, Spears suffered a torn ACL. However, he was able to bounce back and become the team’s go-to running back.
His ability to accelerate quickly and breakaway speed makes Spears a threat on the field, which allows him to gain significant yards. The Tulane run scheme features a mix of zone and gap runs, and Spears feels comfortable functioning and excels in both concepts. Despite his smaller stature, Spears proves to be competitive through contact and does his best to maximize every touch. He has a knack for setting up tacklers and using a variety of moves to avoid defenders. His twitch, flexibility, and elusiveness make him a shifty and dynamic runner with the ball.
In terms of vision, ball security, and contact balance, Spears also excels. However, his narrow build may limit his potential as a workhorse back at the next level. His size instead lends him to be a complementary piece to a team’s offense.
His ability to run routes is second to none and he has natural hands, allowing him to snatch the ball away from his body, displaying his quality as a receiver with soft hands. In particular, Spears shows a great feel for catching the ball and transitioning upfield in the screen game.
While agility is key for any receiver, Spears’ agile feet, patience, balance, and vision to sidestep and elude defenders make him a valuable asset. He also has an impressive ability to follow his blocks and work well in tight areas. Spears is a coordinated hands catcher, transitioning quickly and smoothly to a runner. His skills are good enough to make an impact as a slot receiver and he even tracks the ball well when asked to run deeper routes.
Spears brings a nice blend of power and passing game skills. With a compact build and naturally low center of gravity, he runs with excellent balance through traffic, which allows him to squeeze through for yardage.
Spears has a slight build, and its a question of whether or not he can withstand heavy contact and remain durable over time. He lacks power and runs with a relatively high pad level, which limits his ability to run between the tackles.
Tyjae Spears is not necessarily a well-rounded or versatile running back. Instead, he may excel in specific situations or task-oriented roles, such as outside the tackle runs and cut blocking in pass protection. It is imperative to recognize and work within his limitations to optimize his effectiveness within a given system or team.
Tyjae Spears is the 131st prospect on our draft big board.