Originally written on Patriots Life  |  Last updated 11/6/14
Boston HeraldBefore each game for Crest High in Shelby, N.C., Spikes would walk up to the 50-yard line as the opposing team warmed up. He slowly crept toward midfield, stopped, stared and then turned around.His coach at the time, Roy Kirby, remembers it like it was yesterday.“He’s the most intimidating high school player I’ve ever seen,” Kirby told the Herald last week. “I would see the other team’s players stop warming up and look at him.”When Spikes got to Crest, the first jersey number he requested was 51. When Kirby asked him why, he told him because it was Butkus’ number. Kirby was initially surprised because he, too, grew up admiring Butkus — he even had a poster of him on his wall — but in his time as a coach, he didn’t encounter many teenage fans of the old-time warrior.“First time I heard it, I said ‘You know Butkus?’ He goes, ‘Coach, he’s the greatest linebacker of all time. I watch him on TV. I watch all the old stuff,’ ” Kirby said. “You ask the rest of the
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