Nashville, Tenn.-- 2024 Lipscomb Academy linebacker Edwin Spillman quickly turned into one of the class's most sought-after defensive prospects. The 6'2, 225lbs linebacker already holds offers from more than 15 Division 1 schools. He shares the latest on his recruitment with Sports Illustrated.
"Everything has just been a blessing with my recruitment," Spillman said of his recruitment. "Really just thankful to my parents and then God and my coaches. Most of the schools I hear from are Michigan, Ohio State, Tennessee, and then Clemson. I don't know when I'm going to put that stuff out, but I'm definitely going to visit those four schools this summer."
Spillman recently visited Michigan for their spring game, which allowed him the opportunity to see more of Jim Harbaugh's program.
"I just got to see how the defense is ran and how the coaches treat their players," Spillman said of this visit. "They had like a little spring game, and I got to see all that. I saw how the coaches coach up their players, and I really enjoyed that. They see me being able to just do everything. From being able to play normal inside linebacker to playing coverage to also lining up on the edge and using my pass rush and things like that."
That message on his three-down versatility has been consistent from all the schools he has heard from.
Spillman also made a recent trip to Ohio State, and he likes what he has seen and heard from the Buckeyes.
"What I like about Ohio State is really just the family aspect of the program," he said of Ryan Day's program. "Coach Day and their whole coaching staff just seem to really engage and care about their players, especially their futures and everything after football."
Spillman noted, "it has been crazy" to see how the Buckeyes continue to produce first-round talent on the defense.
He has a close friend and former in-state standout in Columbus who is also recruiting him for Ohio State.
"(Dallan Hayden) has been texting me nonstop about trying to go up with him when me and my dad go look at schools," Spillman said of this.
Spillman doesn't currently hold an offer from Clemson, but he expects to pick one up when he visits this summer, as Dabo Swinney's program typically likes to extend offers in person.
"Pretty much the same message that everybody has given me," he said of Clemson. "They can see me playing multiple positions and stuff like that. That's what they value."
Spillman frequently calls Defensive Coordinator Wes Goodwin and other members of the Clemson staff, as he has to initiate contact with them at this stage. He had a chance to first get familiar with them last summer at a camp.
"I got to camp last summer with them, and I got to talk to them and everything like that. Just really nice and genuine people, great coaches," he said of his impression of the Clemson staff.
The home-state Volunteers have gotten Spillman to campus on multiple occasions and will host him again at the end of the month. They also hold the advantage of having his older brother, Nate, as a commitment in the 2023 class. Spillman frequently reaches out to offensive coordinator Alex Golesh and linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary.
"Just the whole program," Spillman said of what he likes about Tennessee. "I really like the whole atmosphere of how their fans really get into it. I like their coaching styles. I got to camp up there and hung out with a bunch of coaches because I've visited a bunch of times. They are really great coaches and really great men. I really like it."
Spillman competed at a Tennessee camp last summer, which allowed him the opportunity to see how Jean-Mary coaches.
"When I went to the camp last summer, I was a freshman, and they had already offered me," he said of this. "He doesn't care how young you are or anything like that. If he sees potential in you, he's going to go after you and coach you hard, and that's what I like about him. He's also a great godly man, and I really take pride in and enjoy that. When I went there, we got to work on a lot of footwork, drops, punching, and pass coverage. So the next season after that, I got really good at all of those things. And I just was able to improve throughout camps and everything like that."
Spillman is working to make his own decision separate from his brother's, but he admits it is nice to have the opportunity to play close to home and potentially team back up with his brother and other friends in Knoxville.
"I think I'm good at being versatile," Spillman said of what he believes has made him a highly sought-after prospect. "I can do a lot of things, and if I see a little crack in my game, I want to go and get better at that little piece and everything like that."
As Spillman takes more visits in the coming months, he does not have a decision timeline in place, but he knows what he is looking for in a school.
"Just a place that I can call home.," Spillman said. "A place that I can play early, get good coaching, and reach my potential. Also, a place that can help me reach my goals of reaching the NFL."