Zags get commitment from Oklahoma forward
Ryan Spangler, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward from Bridge Creek High in Blanchard, Okla., has verbally committed to Gonzaga, according to his prep coach, Jason Sanders.
Spangler joins Kent, Wash., guard Gary Bell (No. 65 on ESPNU’s top 100), Nampa, Idaho guard Kyle Dranginis and Gonzaga Prep guard Chris Sarbaugh in Gonzaga’s 2011 class.
Spangler, who plays quarterback on Bridge Creek’s football team, is rated No. 51 among 2011 power forwards, according to ESPN.com.
“He’s a fabulous athlete,” Sanders said. “He kind of flew under the radar mostly because everyone assumed he was going to play football.”
Spangler averaged 26 points and 18.5 rebounds as a junior.
“He’s the best rebounder I’ve seen,” Sanders said. “I know that’s what caught a lot of people’s attention. He has big hands, a football mentality and a little bit of a mean streak. He plays relentlessly. He’s going to be one of those players that is willing to do what needs to be done.”
Sanders said Spangler passed for 3,500 yards and 33 touchdowns with just five interceptions last season. He helped Bridge Creek knock off No. 5-ranked Tuttle on Friday before visiting Gonzaga this weekend.
“Most people assumed he’d play football because he comes from a football family,” Sanders said. “His dad was a former high school coach. This is a football town and obviously Oklahoma is a football state, but those of us who have been around him weren’t surprised.”
Spangler received football recruiting interest from numerous schools, but most wanted to convert him to tight end. He narrowed his basketball choices to Gonzaga, Colorado, Texas Christian and Tulsa before selecting GU, Sanders said.
Spangler also pitched for the baseball team and could throw in the low 90s, Sanders said.
“He did get recruited in baseball, but honestly he hates the sport and I doubt he will play this year,” Sanders said. “He’s a three-sport kid and has never been full-time in the gym. Once he gets in the gym, he has huge upside.
“The truth is until this summer he wasn’t doing AAU. He had been spending most of his summers at football camps. Once he played AAU, he went from no offers to 30 as soon as everyone saw him play.”
Bridge Creek is a 4A school, roughly in the middle of Oklahoma’s seven classifications, located about 20 miles southwest of Oklahoma City.
“Last year we lost in the game to go to state,” Sanders said. “We have a good chance this year. He’s surrounded by some good, hard-working kids, but he basically puts the team on his shoulders every night.”