APR 4, 2019
BY: DANA BECKER, The Messenger Sports Reporter
CEDAR FALLS — Spencer Cuvelier is one of three newcomers taking part in spring practice for the Northern Iowa football team.
The Iowa Central graduate enrolled in school in December and has been preparing for the upcoming fall with the Panther linebacker group.
"It's going very well," Cuvelier said. "I have a lot to learn before fall, but I'm excited for every step."
Cuvelier led the Triton defense with 96 tackles — including 22 stops for loss — and four sacks last year as a redshirt freshman. He also forced three fumbles.
The former Crestwood standout ranked ninth in the nation in total tackles, while his 58 assisted stops placed him third. He had a career-high 17 tackles in a win over Ellsworth.
Northern Iowa finished last year 7-6, scoring a 16-13 victory over Lamar in the opening round of the FCS Playoffs before falling to UC Davis.
"(Cuvelier's) back in the fold," UNI head coach Mark Farley said during a recent press conference following spring practice. "We'll see how he fits. He's trimmed down so he could be a (middle inside) linebacker or a (weakside inside) linebacker. We'll just have to see where he fits in our system."
In the fall, the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Cuvelier will be joined by his former Iowa Central teammate and fellow linebacker Jackson Martens. The two helped the Tritons win eight games this past fall including the Graphic Edge Bowl here inside the UNI-Dome.
The Panthers lost all three starting linebackers from last year in Kendrick Suntken, Duncan Ferch and Blake Thomas. Suntken transferred to UNI from Iowa Central.
Along with Cuvelier and Martens, former Manson Northwest Webster and Iowa Central standout Tim Butcher, ex-Triton Roosevelt Lawrence, and Bishop Garrigan graduate Zac Kibby are all on the Panther roster.
Northern Iowa opens the 2019 season in Ames against Iowa State. They play their first home game the following week against Southern Utah.