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.
“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.”