The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced today that they have signed 2013 NFL Draft pick DT Akeem Spence.
Spence (6-1, 307) was selected in the fourth round (100th overall) out of the University of Illinois. He started all 38 games he played for the Fighting Illini, totaling 186 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 26 quarterback pressures in only three years. Spence was a member of the Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy watch lists as a junior, while also earning second-team All-Big Ten honors from Phil Steele. Spence was selected first-team All-Big Ten by The NFL Draft Report after his sophomore season and earned Freshman All-American honors from College Football News, the FWAA, Phil Steele and Rivals.com.
A native of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., Spence attended Fort Walton Beach High, where, in addition to his football prowess, he was a state weight-lifting champion.