Former BYU star linebacker Spencer Hadley has had a rough go of things. Of course these were all things of his own doing, such as drinking in a Las Vegas nightclub, and wearing a mustache--both violations of BYU's Honor Code forbidding alcohol consumption and facial hair.
Hadley violated the Honor Code numerous times in his BYU career, leaving most NFL teams to be a bit wary of him when it came time for the NFL Draft. Then Hadley wasn't drafted by any NFL team last spring, leaving his football fate in the hands of the unknown.
The Oakland Raiders came along in August and signed Hadley to a non-guaranteed rookie deal. Hadley survived the first cuts--but was axed when the Raiders made their cuts to the 53 players who would take the field for the season opener.
But, the Raiders must have liked something about Hadley, who wore No. 51 for the silver and black and had four tackles, one assisted in three NFL pre-season games.
Even if the Raiders did cut Hadley, they took yet another chance on the former BYU star, signing him to their practice squad on Mon. Sept. 1. Hadley will join the likes of former Utah State linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu and ex-Notre Dame running back George Atkinson III--son of Raiders great George Atkinson--on the 10-man unit.
One player who was not included on the practice squad was Utah tight end Jake Murphy--even after a pre-season in which he caught a touchdown pass. Hadley and Filimoeatu were the only Utah-based players who made Oakland's practice squad.
The Raiders are always a team who can pull surprises. Take for example their announcement that rookie David Carr of Fresno State will be the starting quarterback--over NFL veteran Matt Schaub.
With just four linebackers on the current 53-man roster--and Hadley and Filimoeatu waiting in the wings--there should also be opportunities for playing time for the former BYU star, who expressed his excitement on his Twitter page.
"3 game suspension, torn MCL & VMO, undrafted, cut, cut again... second day of practice squad! "You're never out of the fight" #LoneSurvivor,'" Hadley tweeted on Tuesday.
Hadley's dream will continue in a place where it makes sense for him to play, the city of Oakland, for a team without a future home. It's also a team without much success lately and a team that like Hadley, desperately wants to be included among football's elite, and in life, in a positive way.