Michael “Speedy Sprag” Spragley shines spotlight on track and music

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If one were to describe Michael Spragley, they would be talking about his love – a love that extends far beyond his athletic achievements and in the music studio.

In addition to possessing talent on the track, which allowed him to become a member of the North Carolina Track and Field Team, Spragley developed a love and passion for music from an early age. Soon after, a childhood film prompted him to make his musical interests a vision.

“I was watching that Disney movie called ‘Let it Shine’, and it’s about this rapper who wanted to express himself and be famous,” Spragley said. “I literally learned all the songs and then I started to write my own songs.”

From that moment on, Spragley – or “Speedy Sprag,” his musical alias – saw an opportunity to develop his love for rap. He started his own YouTube channel where he uploads many of his freestyles, songs and mash-ups. One of his songs, “rip kobe”, has already accumulated more than 350,000 views.

Spragley’s two worlds of athletics and rap collide with what he calls “flow” – his ability to glide both on the track and through his lyrics.

Spragley’s flow on the track helped him compete in the 800 and 1,500-meter events for the Tar Heels, as well as the 5K and 8K in cross country.

He finished second in the 800-meter race at the 2021 Duke Twilight, when he set a personal best of 1: 50.38. But even with his athletic success, Spragley credits the sense of family love within the UNC athletic program as his fondest memory.

“My favorite memory is the ACC (Outdoor Championship) during COVID and we had the whole team there,” Spragley said. “It was the first time the whole team had been together. Our team was improving and it was nice to be together because during COVID we had to train individually.”

The athletic family really embraces his talents, both on and off the track.

“Literally everyone calls me ‘Sprag’ or ‘Speedy Sprag’,” he said. “Some people think it’s my name.”

Spragley said he has practiced freestyle in numerous training sessions and teamed up with teammates to create new songs, including his close teammate Saypadia DeSaussure II.

“Michael is probably the most energetic person I know,” DeSaussure said. “He’s always ready to go. He runs 10 miles a day, and he still finds time to rap at the end of the night.

In addition to rapping with close teammates, Spragley flaunts his talents in the rap group, UNC-CH Cypher. The group raps on Wednesday nights in the Pit, where they perform in front of crowds of up to 100 people.

Justis Malker, president of UNC Cypher, said Spragley’s ability to be “raw and honest” fosters personal connections within his music.

“If you listen to a lot of his songs or his verses, they are real stories,” said Malker. “They talk about real feelings, and he always puts an interesting twist on things.”

Whether he’s rapping in the Pit on a Wednesday night or passing an ACC foe on the track, Spragley hopes to show people the light in everything he does.

“When I rap, I want to send a positive message to people and bring joy to their lives,” Spragley said.

Junior Exercise and Sports Science Michael Spragley is a runner on both the track and field and cross country teams. He is pictured in the Koman training complex on October 11.

@dthsports | [email protected]

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