SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A player who made his name on football fields across the Dakotas is preparing to take his shot at the NFL.
There’s no shortage of work to be done on the Waege family farm, even if you’re a professional football player.
“It hasn’t quite just sunk in that I’m part of an NFL franchise,” 49ers defensive lineman Spencer Waege said.
Spencer Waege is a fifth generation farmer and one of the newest members of the San Francisco 49ers.
“I kind of fit how they like finding d-linemen of guys being able to play inside, outside,” Spencer Waege said.
After collecting nine sacks during his senior season at NDSU, Waege says about half the teams in the NFL contacted him prior to the draft. He ultimately signed with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent.
“They had just kind of shown me the most interest through it all, so once they got to the seventh round of the draft me and my agent were talking and he just said I think I’m going to call the 49ers and see if we can get a UDFA done,” Spencer Waege said.
“Follow him wherever he goes, whatever happens, we’ll be his biggest fans,” Spencer’s dad Lynn Waege said.
Lynn Waege says his son has always dreamed of playing professional football.
“Third, fourth grade and he wanted to be a kicker in the NFL,” Lynn Waege said.
At 6’5″, 295-pounds Waege won’t be kicking, but dad says Spencer has the drive to play on Sundays.
“He always just had ambition and a desire and a competitive edge I guess where he always, no matter what he was doing, had to try and be a step better than everybody else,” Lynn Waege said.
Waege will attend rookie mini-camp starting this Friday.
“I’m out there until about mid-June or so and then I get some time to come back here and continue training and then head back out in July for Training Camp,” Spencer Waege said.
The goal is to be part of the 53-man roster when the regular season rolls around.
“They can technically cut me at any point if that’s what they feel fit to do. Hopefully, that don’t happen anytime soon (laugh),” Spencer Waege said.
And when his playing days end, he’ll make his way back home to the farm.
“Yeah, for sure when I officially retire from football I’ll be back here,” Spencer Waege said.
Spencer was a standout player at Watertown High School before landing at North Dakota State, where he won four FCS national championships over six years.