Sophomore Spenser Huston is the starting left tackle for the football team, which hosts its homecoming game against Harvard this weekend. Huston was the only freshman to start on Princeton’s offensive line last season and has continued to have success this year. He even scored a touchdown last week against Brown, a very rare and special feat for an offensive lineman. Huston sat down with the ‘Prince’ to talk about the Garden State, rap music and his first touchdown ever.
Q: When did you start playing football?
A: Football has been my favorite sport my whole life. My dad was a college football player; he played at Holy Cross. I tried to play as soon as possible. It’s been my passion. I just love it.
Q: Where are you from? What’s your favorite thing about where you’re from?
A: I’m from Summit, N.J. I know New Jersey gets a bad rap, but I think it’s the best place on Earth. Obviously a lot of people at Princeton like it, since they chose to come here.
Q: What is the best thing about being an athlete at Princeton?
A: It’s just the opportunity to compete and continue doing what I love to do. I’ve been doing this since I was a fourth grader, and this is pretty much my last hurrah unless I somehow make it to the NFL, but that’s not very likely, so it’s just awesome to get out there, build camaraderie with your teammates and hopefully win a couple of games and score a couple of touchdowns.
Q: What is the worst part about being an athlete at Princeton?
A: Probably the time commitment. There are meetings and workouts all year round. It’s really hard to juggle the academics and athletics, but we find a way to get by, and we know all the hard work is paying off.
Q: What was your “welcome-to-Princeton” moment?
A: It was in preseason football last year. I was running one of the plays with the first team [offense] versus the first team defense. Linebacker Steve Cody [’12] completely annihilated me and knocked me on my butt.
Q: What was it like scoring a touchdown? Had you ever scored a touchdown before?
A: I had never scored a touchdown before at any level of football, so it was an amazing feeling. We had had that play in, so I ran it in practice a bunch of times, and I was prepared for it. Like I said postgame, I had the easiest job on the field. I had great blocking. Without them, I wouldn’t have made it.
Q: If not football, what sport would you play?
A: I was a lacrosse player in high school. I was getting recruited a little bit for lacrosse, but obviously more so for football. It’s like my second passion. I played in a tournament this summer just to keep my stick skills warm.
Q: Who is your quirkiest teammate?
A: [Junior offensive lineman] Mike Major is the quirkiest teammate. I have a locker right next to him. He’s always keeping us loose. He always has something to say to me just to make me laugh. I’ve gotten a lot of teasing about the touchdown.
Q: Do you have any pregame rituals?
A: I don’t know if it’s a ritual, really, but I get really nervous before games, so I’ll throw up. That happens a lot. I don’t know if it’s a ritual, but it seems to happen almost every game. I usually just listen to music, try to stay focused and try to stay loose.
Q: What would we find on your pregame playlist?
A: I’m really big into rap. A little bit of techno, too, sprinkled in there. My favorite artist right now is Kendrick Lamar. You could throw in 50 Cent, Eminem, Wiz Khalifa. They’re pretty much at the top. Also a little bit of ASAP Rocky too.
Q: What’s the highlight of your sports career?
A: The touchdown was pretty awesome, but I would probably say winning a championship in seventh- and eighth-grade football. We had a great middle school football team. In seventh grade, we lost two games in the regular season and beat those two teams in the playoffs to win the championship, so that was really nice. My eighth-grade team, we just went undefeated and won the championship.
Q: Do you have any role models?
A: I’ve got to say my dad is probably my biggest role model. I admire his work ethic, how he carries himself. I just try to emulate him as much as I can. I just love him to death.
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