It’s just like “Hard Knocks.”

Trying to get a word in edgewise with Nelson Spruce – at least within the confines of the visiting locker room at Sports Authority Field on Saturday night – means sifting through or drowning out the background noise. Whenever a microphone is in front of him, sounds of “Spruuuuuuce” serve as a steady distraction for the rookie receiver from the University of Colorado.

Anyone who’s been watching the HBO Series “Hard Knocks” is familiar with the cooing; in his first game as a pro, the Rams preseason opener, Spruce’s six catches, 51 yards and a touchdown quickly made him a central character in the NFL’s version of reality television.

“[My phone was blowing up] a little bit. It was cool,” Spruce said of his debut. “It was funny because last year, I was sitting in Boulder watching [“Hard Knocks”] with my roommate. And he was like, ‘Wouldn’t it be crazy if whatever team you end up on is on “Hard Knocks”?’ And now it’s kind of happened like that.”

Spruce takes his teammates’ heckling in stride, especially considering he was unable to play against the Broncos, a homecoming of sorts. Plenty of Buffs backers wanted to watch him play back in Colorado, but a nagging knee injury kept him sidelined.

For most undrafted rookies – like Spruce – getting no action in preseason game No. 3 is a major problem. But there’s a quiet consensus among experts that Spruce will find a spot with the Rams anyway. Only time will tell if that sentiment is correct, but there’s no doubting that L.A. suits Spruce well.

“I’m from L.A., so I’m like right back home,” he said after the game in Denver. “I’ve got practice facilities during the season 15 minutes from my house. Being there, back where I grew up, playing football professionally is pretty awesome.”

Sure, Spruce does not have the security of being an early round draft pick, but with the Rams, there are other comforts.

“I was going into the draft thinking I was going to be Day 3,” Spruce admitted. “I was pretty confident I was going to get drafted. But then I saw some of the bigger name receivers sliding, going later in the draft. So, I was like maybe I might not get drafted. It was kind of a stressful day for me. Kind of disappointing obviously. But right after the draft ended, I got a call from a few different teams and the Rams were definitely the best fit for me, so that relieved the stress, ending up with the Rams right away.

“I think it was easy coming back home. All these guys are coming (to L.A.) looking for apartments, looking for places to live, trying to figure out the area, and I’ve lived there my whole life, so that kind of made it easy. That was a comfort I really didn’t anticipate, but seeing some of the other guys go through it and get situated, it makes me realize how lucky I am,” Spruce said.

He’s also fortunate to have an existing relationship with the future of the Rams, Jared Goff (who was 4-12 for 45 yards against the Broncos stingy defense before leaving the game. A precautionary substitution, Goff later said that he’d suffered a bruised back and tailbone. The injury is believed not to be serious). Goff and Spruce trained together in preparation for the NFL Combine. They also played against each other in college as Pac-12 foes.

“We’re not too much rivals now,” Spruce said. “We don’t really talk about it too much, except for the one game, that we went into double overtime in my junior year. We’ll bring that up sometimes. I give him sh*t, because I had 19 catches that game and three touchdowns. But he also had a record setting day that day. (But) they got the win, so that kind of shuts me down pretty quick.

“He’s cool. He’s one of my good friends on the team and I think we have a really good relationship.”

Comfort or not, friendship or not, Spruce is still battling history for a spot on the Rams. It’s rare that an undrafted player who only plays in the first (and perhaps the fourth) preseason game makes the final 53. Like those who have followed him from the preps to Colorado and now back to L.A., Spruce still carries a quiet confidence.

“Guys on the team talk about making the most of this opportunity,” Nelson said. “Obviously for me, it’s difficult because I had this injury, but I got a good shot in my first game – I feel like I made the most of the opportunity.

“I’m just banking on that.”