As young kids commonly do, they'd pretend they were a certain player or a certain team when competing in anything.
"He'd always get to be BYU because he was the oldest," said Matt Hadley about Spencer. "Every time we'd play anything, he was BYU and I had to be something else, but we both loved BYU so much. They were our first choice for as long as I can remember."
Spencer obviously came out on top of the athletic competitions between the two, but Matt did have his moments.
"I remember beating him in basketball once and that was great," he recalled. "Of course the rule was that I'd win if I scored just one basket by the time he'd score 15, but still, I remember it well because it was one of the first times I beat him in anything."
Growing up, Matt would mirror his older brother with most everything he did, and is now continuing that by signing with and then playing for BYU.
"I was fortunate to have such a great example as Spencer was to follow for sure," said Matt. "Everything he did was a good example to me. I definitely benefited from him showing me how things were done and how you should do things both on and off of the football field."
Matt in no doubt also benefited from Spencer's one-year stint at BYU, where he made an immediate impact in warranting playing time as a true freshman. Cougar coaches were undoubtedly more comfortable with extending an offer to Matt in light of that success.
Matt first came in contact with BYU's coaches during the eighth grade when he attended BYU's camp with Spencer. Spencer was set to enter his senior season and showed enough during the camp to warrant a scholarship offer, but Matt also made some waves while being bumped up to compete against the high school players.
"That was really great when they gave me the chance to compete against the older guys," he recalled. "It gave me some good experience and I've been going back almost every year and coaches started to notice me."
Since that time, Matt's increased in stature and has gone on to do many good things on the field of play, culminating in being named the state of Washington's 1A MVP while only a sophomore. He played running back and strong safety, and also returned kickoffs and punts. On offense he rushed 237 times for 1,863 yards and 23 touchdowns, and caught the ball 20 times for 368 yards and three touchdowns. Altogether, he had 32 total touchdowns as a sophomore.
Since his eighth grade year, Matt has kept Cougar coaches up to date on his progress through emails.
"I know that they can't contact me directly a lot of the time, so I kept emailing them so they wouldn't forget about me," he explained. "I don't know if it helped, but they kept their interest and gave me an early offer, which I couldn't be happier about."
Like his older brother, Matt has been tried out at several positions while at BYU's camp. He played a lot of defensive back and running back, and won the MVP award for both positions this past summer on his way to a scholarship offer. Toward the end of the camp, he was informed that head coach Bronco Mendenhall wanted to speak with him.
"I was really nervous about it," he recalled. "I mean, I love Coach Mendenhall, but he's the head guy and you really have a lot of respect for him, so it made me nervous more than I was excited. I'm only going to be a junior this next year, so I really didn't think I was going to get offered."
Shortly after the meeting Matt did receive that offer, which was extended verbally due to coaches not being allowed to extend written offers until prospects begin their junior year. It was an offer that was immediately accepted for a lot of reasons.
"I love BYU so much and I've never really thought of playing anywhere else," he related. "BYU is the only school I've dreamed about playing for and it's been my goal for a very long time. It's such an honor and a privilege to be part of BYU's program, where I'll be able to play with Spencer for a year before I leave for a mission myself after playing for one year like he did."
So which position will he play when he gets to BYU? Much like with Spencer, there are several options for him on the field of play.
"I'm not as big as Spencer, so I don't know if I'll end up playing linebacker like he did," he said. "I think I'm a bit faster than he is, so I'll play either running back or safety I think."
Regardless of which position he ends up playing, Matt is ready to give it his all for the only program he's ever dreamed of playing for.
"I love BYU and everything about BYU," he summed up. "I love the coaching staff, the fact that I can play with my brother, the atmosphere, the school - I really love everything about it and it's such an incredible honor for me to have the chance I do to be there and help out the team where I can. It's worked out well for me, but I know that now I have to work even harder to help out the team. I couldn't be more excited."