Varsity Football · South Christian’s Spencer Holstege honored by Big Ten

Spencer Holstege

Purdue red-shirt freshman Spencer Holstege of Grand Rapids South Christian works out during his 2020 Christmas break. Holstege earned All-Big Ten honorable mention recognition. (Courtesy Photo)

Purdue’s Spencer Holstege took advantage of his opportunities when the football season rolled around this fall.

The 2019 Grand Rapids South Christian graduate entered the season opener against Iowa during the second half, and the red-shirt freshman quickly became a starter at left guard. By season’s end, Holstege was one of the most impressive freshman offensive linemen in the Big Ten.

Conference coaches and media noticed Holstege’s progression and contributions, and they have honored him with All-Big Ten honorable mention recognition. In addition, Holstege also earned Academic All-Big Ten.

“I am blessed that I was able to receive this,” Holstege said. “I’m grateful that the Big Ten coaches and the media thought I was deserving of it. I’m just grateful to receive an honor like that.”

Holstege’s college debut saw him play 45 snaps in Purdue’s game versus Iowa, and he led the Boilermakers in blocking efficiency. He would start the season’s remaining five games.

The 6-foot-5, 315-pound Holstege completed the season as Purdue’s second highest graded lineman per Pro Football Focus and the highest rated freshman guard in the Big Ten. PFF also has Holstege rated the ninth-rated freshman guard in the nation.

 “I came into the season wanting to start and help the team any way that I could,” Holstege said. “I am thankful that I was able to do that.

“The biggest challenge was to stay healthy and making sure I wasn’t around anyone who had COVID so I could continue to play and not have to sit out the 21 days.

Purdue started the season 2-0, recording victories over Iowa and Illinois. But the Boilermakers dropped their next four games to finish 2-4. Holstege said there were bright spots during the season’s second half despite the losing streak.

“For me personally, it was the Minnesota game,” Holstege said of the game that stands out the most, which was a 34-31 loss. “Our offense did extremely well. It didn’t go well at the end. But it was the most fun because the offense did so well.”

Spencer Holstege

Spencer Holstege (Courtesy Photo)

 Holstege said his goal next year is to help the Boilermakers contend for a Big Ten title, and he is wasting no time preparing for the future. He is home for Christmas break, but he continues to work out.
 “I have been training at Power Strength since I got back, four days a week and a fifth on Saturday,” Holstege said. “I also go to the field at East Grand Rapids and work out with (brother) Sawyer and my dad there. We did it back in the summer when everything was shut down. We continue to get better each and every day.”