Diontae Spencer’s eyes welled up as he thought about the person who would be getting the jersey he wore in his record-breaking game.
Vanessa Spencer, his mom, will receive it after Spencer set a new CFL single-game mark with 496 all-purpose yards in Ottawa’s victory against Hamilton.
“It was tough because I know it was fan appreciation but this is once in a lifetime. You never know when this will happen again. I’m going to give it to my mom. She means a lot to me,” Spencer said as he was overcome with emotion.
“I know she’s watching back home. That’s my biggest fan. Growing up, single parent, she’s the reason I go so hard. I just want to give it to her just to show I am proud of her sticking with me throughout life and giving me the chance to be in this position.”
Spencer’s dad passed away when he was in college and his mom raised two children on her own.
“Seeing what she went through just to make us happy, I go out there and try to put it all on the line for her,” Spencer said.
Spencer was feeling it in practice.
“The whole week I said I was going for 500 [yards],” Spencer said. “It feels amazing.”
“They’ve been playing this game for a long time, so that’s a big deal,” Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell said.
When Spencer played for McNeese State in college he had one game with 365 yards and five touchdowns, but never did he put together a game that approached 500 yards. Trevor Harris believed Spencer had the talent to put together a historic performance.
“When I played with him in Toronto I thought that if he could get himself in shape enough to do all the returns and receiving he could be a legitimate top threat at receiver and returner,” Harris said.
Spencer had 133 yards receiving, 165 kick-off return yards, 169 punt return yards and 29 missed field goal return yards to total 496 on a special night in the nation’s capital. One the Spencer family will always remember from the No. 85 Redblacks jersey that will be in their household forever.