PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — If there was a theme that was consistently established throughout Spencer Webb’s memorial service on Thursday night at Oregon, it was this: He could connect with anyone at any place at any time.
“He could talk to you for three minutes and by the end of the conversation, he would know where you’re from, what makes you tick, and maybe even your social security number,” joked Oregon Head Coach Dan Lanning.
Lanning found that out quickly at Oregon– Very quickly.
He recalled during the ceremony that on his first day at UO, he returned from his introductory press conference to find Webb plopped down on his couch. Immediately the tight end told him he wanted to change his number (he eventually would to the #4), asked how much his position would catch the ball in Lanning’s offense, and floated the idea of allowing hats and earrings in the building, saying that it would boost team morale.
“Every person on our team can share a similar story on Spencer Webb, whether it be after joining the program as a teammate or a coach or even an administrator, you must first go through the Spencer Webb orientation process,” said Lanning, adding that his wife also went through it on the first day when she and their children got lost in the building and of course Webb was the one to find them. “One common theme as an introduction on this team is if you are going to meet someone, you must meet Spencer first. Don’t hide from him because he’ll find you.”
Fellow tight end Cam McCormick certainly agreed with that sentiment. It even occurred in the community, as McCormick said it was impossible to get anywhere on time with Webb if he was out and about because he insisted on taking pictures and signing autographs for any kid that asked.
Right before his death though after a team meeting, Webb sought McCormick out to express how much he meant to him. It ended up being the last time the two saw each other before his passing.
“After the meeting, we exchanged a hug in the locker room and told each other how grateful we were for one another and expressed the impact we had on each other’s lives. We felt the only thing that could make us closer was if there was blood running through our veins,” said McCormick.
Another person that Webb was close with on the team was wide receiver Isaah Crocker. Webb and Crocker both hail from Sacramento and Crocker had known him since he was in middle school.
“I’m completely shattered, and I know that my brothers on this team, that we are looking forward to dedicating this season to him,” said Crocker as he broke in tears.
Lanning shared a small but meaningful way the team will do just that all season to close out his speech.
“Our team has a new way that we want to start every one of our team meetings. We never want him far from our thoughts and every day we want to start by thinking of him. Four,” said Lanning, which is Webb’s number as the team responded with a clap. “Fly high, Spencer.”