IRVING, Texas – Iowa State junior linebacker Marcel Spears was honored as the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week after his big-play exploits in Iowa State’s 40-31 win over Texas Tech on Saturday.
A native of Olathe, Kan., Spears had four tackles, 0.5 TFL and a QB hurry vs. the Red Raiders, but his outstanding coverage skills locked up the award for the two-year starter.
Spears picked off a pair of passes, returning one 41 yards for a touchdown to give the Cyclones a 24-17 lead in the third quarter. It was the second-straight season Spears had a pick 6 vs. the Red Raiders.
Spears’ second interception was also crucial, returning another Alan Bowman miscue 12 yards in the fourth quarter to help the Cyclones win their third-straight game.
Spears, who has four interceptions in his career, became the first Cyclone to have two interceptions in a game since Sam E. Richardson did it in 2014 vs. Oklahoma.
A Cyclone defender has been the player of the week by the Big 12 in their last three contests: Braxton Lewis (Oklahoma State), JaQuan Bailey (West Virginia), Marcel Spears (Texas Tech).
It marked the third time in Spears’ career where he earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week accolades. He won the honor twice in 2017 after victories over Texas Tech (Oct. 21) and TCU (Oct. 28).