It’s time to meet your L.A. Wildcats. Nelson Spruce is Los Angeles native who’s professional football dreams have brought him back home.

Early Years

Nelson Gregory Spruce was born on December 5, 1992, in Venice, CA. He played his High School football at Westlake High School, where he amassed 2,795 yards and 37 touchdowns on 149 receptions. His time as a Warrior allowed him to become a three-star recruit and commit to the University of Colorado in 2011.

College

Spruce arrived at Colorado in the fall of 2011. After red-shirting his first year on campus, he became a starter for the Buffaloes. Spruce’s breakout season was his Junior year in which he set or tied 31 school receiving records.

In both his final two seasons at Colorado, he was selected as a 2nd team All Pac-12 team member and a top 10 semi-finalist for the Biletnikoff Award.

In a storied career with Colorado, Spruce’s 294 receptions, 3,347 yards, and 23 touchdowns, coupled with 43 school or Pac-12 records set or tied, made him the best receiver in school history.

NFL Career

Spruce came into the NFL with his hometown L.A. Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2016. He earned a spot in training camp, and his legacy began in the first preseason game. Not only was it his first NFL action, but it was the first game action for the Rams in their new home city of Los Angeles. In front of a packed LA Coliseum, Spruce hauled in six receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown. He became an LA Darling immediately.

Unfortunately, two leg injuries landed him on the injured reserve list for the season.

Going into the following season, he was released by the Rams on September 4, 2017 after not being able to earn a spot with the newly revamped L.A. receiving corps which included recently acquired Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods, and rookie Cooper Kupp.

Between 2017 & 2018, Spruce found himself on the practice squads of the Bears, Chiefs, and Chargers having never seen the field in a regular-season game. At this point in his career, Spruce looked to an alternative to jump-start his career.

Post-NFL Career

Spruce joined the Alliance of American Football in 2018 and was allocated to the San Diego Fleet, continuing his trend of playing for southern California teams. He was an early stand out star for the budding league, only for the league to fold mid-season in April 2019.

Spruce again found himself out of football until he was drafted by the L.A. Wildcats of the XFL. He was selected by his hometown team in the third round. With this new opportunity, he hopes to cash in on the dream he started chasing as a child under these same Los Angeles stars.

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 8: LA Wildcats wide receiver Nelson Spruce (11), is tackled by Houston Roughnecks linebacker Kaelin Burnett (50) during action on February 8, 2020 at TDECU Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Michael Starghill/XFL)

HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 8: LA Wildcats wide receiver Nelson Spruce (11), is tackled by Houston Roughnecks linebacker Kaelin Burnett (50) during action on February 8, 2020 at TDECU Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Michael Starghill/XFL)

Chris Gentry

Author Chris Gentry

More posts by Chris Gentry

Join The Discussion!

The LAFB Network 2019