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Trieu: Spartans try to catch interest of Florida CB Speed

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News
Ameer Speed

Two recruits from the Sunshine State, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas defensive end Lashawn Paulino-Bell and Jacksonville Sandalwood cornerback Ameer Speed, may come up to Michigan State for official visits with the Spartans this weekend as they take on rival Michigan.

Although Paulino-Bell has been committed since June, his visit would come at a good time as Arkansas, Nebraska and Louisville have both been showing increased interest and the Huskers extended a scholarship offer. It was reported that he would take official visits to other schools, but he recently told Scout’s Corey Bender that he did not know if that would happen yet. He told Bender he would be in East Lansing this weekend, but Scout’s Dave Berk reports the visit could be rescheduled.

Paulino-Bell is looking for an opportunity to return and see all of the reasons he chose MSU again.

"They have a great campus, great facilities and great coaches," Paulino-Bell said. "Their education is very nice, and I would like to go there to study engineering. They have a great engineering program if football doesn't work out for me."

Speed has rare size (6-3, 195 pounds) for a defensive back.

Michigan State currently has two committed in the secondary, safety Dominique Long and cornerback Josiah Scott, and adding more is a priority for the rest of the class.

"I've been talking to the coaches for a while and heard good things, so I want to get up there to check it out and see what it's all about," Speed said. “I know that teams need corners and how they think they could use me here and there. I just have to come in and perform, and be perfect with my craft."

Tennessee commit Jaquan Henderson, a linebacker from Covington (Ga.) Newton, will be in town on an official despite recently saying he was “100 percent Tennessee.”

While it will not be an official visit, Flint Southwestern’s Deron Irving-Bey will return to East Lansing. He holds a Spartan offer and is also considering Michigan, Maryland, Tennessee and others. A 6-foot-5, 270-pound Army All-American, he worked at both defensive end and defensive tackle at June’s Spartan Elite Camp and can also play on the offensive line.

Detroit King’s Ambry Thomas is also slated to be in East Lansing. Thomas just visited Louisville on an official and the Spartans continue to battle for him with Michigan, Florida and others.

Trieu: Michigan stockpiles star defensive line recruits

Many underclassmen with Spartan offers will also attend on unofficial visits. From Ohio, tight end Trenton Gillison, wide receiver L’Christian Smith, linebackers Chris Oats and Dallas Gant, and offensive lineman John Dirksen are all top targets. Gurnee (Ill.) Warren wide receiver Micah Jones has a Michigan State offer and will be back on campus.

From in-state, Belleville sophomore offensive tackle Devontae Dobbs, who earned a Spartan offer in the summer, will be at the game along with many of his talented teammates.

Some in-state underclassmen who do not yet hold offers, but are being evaluated, will be at the game, including Dearborn Divine Child quarterback Theo Day, and Gibraltar Carlson teammates Jaylan Franklin and Matt Harmon.

Four-star cornerback to visit

According to Scout’s Chad Simmons, highly-recruited Stockbridge (Ga.) Woodland cornerback Yusuf Corker will take an official visit to Michigan State, although he has not set a date yet.

The 6-foot, 185-pound senior lists Tennessee as his leader and is also due to take official visits to Penn State, West Virginia and Kentucky.

He will announce his commitment on Dec. 26.

More information

Ameer Speed profile

Jaquan Henderson profile

Deron Irving-Bey profile

Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for Scout.com in 2005 and began managing the entire Midwest in 2009. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.