The Green Bay Packers added depth to the defense Thursday with the addition of 49ers DE Spencer Waege. In turn they have released DT Rodney Mathews.

Athletic Prospect

A South Shore, SD native , Spencer Waege was a beast right out the gate at Watertown High School. His senior year he was listed at 6’5″ 230 lbs running a 4.80 40-yard dash. He also played varsity basketball lending to his athleticism Here’s a look at his senior year highlights

View full Highlights here: Spencer Waege Watertown High School Hudl

Spencer was a 3 year starting DE at Watertown High. According to NDSU’s BIson Football site:

Team captain as a senior…All-conference in 2016 after making 52 tackles with 5.5 sacks, one fumble recovery, four blocked punts and one blocked punt recovery for touchdown…Finished his career with 104 tackles, 10.5 sacks, four punt blocks, one fumble recovery, one interception and two TDs…Sioux Falls Argus Leader Elite 45 honoree…Selected to the South Dakota all-star game and EPS All-America Showcase in Dallas.


Spencer joins fellow alum Christian Watson who also dawned the North Dakota State University green and gold.

The guy on paper has all the hallmarks of a great lineman. Spencer redshirted his first year at NDSU sitting out his first season. In 2018 he started all 15 games on the line and also contributed to special teams. In his debut game he recorded a solo tackle for a loss, setting the tone for an amazing college run.

According to the Bison’s site here’s an overview of his college accolades:

Two-time All-American and All-Missouri Valley Football Conference defensive end…Three-year starter who played 57 games including 29 starts…Part of a Bison program that went 78-8 with four NCAA Division I FCS national championships and four Missouri Valley Football Conference titles over his six years…Tied for sixth in NDSU history with 42.0 career tackles for loss.

He came into the 2023 NFL Draft with an impressive RAS score assessment:

San Francisco UDFA

Despite the hype Spencer would go on to be a UDFA signing for the San Francisco 49ers. Unfortunately he was unable to make the final 53 man roster. Spencer was then worked out by the Steelers before being re-signed and spending the 2nd half of last season on the 49ers practice squad. While he wasn’t active, he did WATCH from the sidelines as his team once again broke my heart and beat the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs last year. Hopefully a walk across the field to the Packers will give him new opportunities.

Green Bay Packers Adding Competition

Rodney Mathews made it all of one week after signing to the squad following rookie minicamp. Gutey and company must have just seen something in Spencer that gave them more intrigue than what Rodney was bringing to the table.

Switching to a 4-3 scheme means the Packers need solid depth with those front 4. Spencer having already spent a year in the league and learning in a winning program may be able to be another notch on Gutey’s unpolished star belt. We will see how things shake out during OTAs and Training Camp this off season.