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Blue Chip countdown: No. 9 Cedrick Lattimore

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Cedrick Lattimore

The Detroit News continues its countdown of the top 15 Blue Chip recruits for 2016 with Cedrick Lattimore of Detroit East English at No. 9.

Cedrick Lattimore returned to Detroit East English’s football team his junior year after deciding not to go out the previous season to concentrate on basketball.

Lattimore’s decision to return to the gridiron turned out to be a good one. He made an impact his junior year as a defensive end / tight end and got the attention of college coaches, then took his game to another level his senior season.

Lattimore, an Iowa commit, had 17 sacks in 2015 to help East English to a 9-3 record and a district championship, ending the season of defending Division 2 state champion Warren De La Salle in the district opener.

“I felt my senior year went well; it’s going well in basketball too,” said the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Lattimore. “My goal this season was to help my team win a state championship and break the school record for sacks in a season."

Lattimore finished a half-sack short of the record.

"I guess I fell short in both, but we still had a very good season," he said.

East English was very competitive against eventual Division 2 state champion Detroit King, losing 20-15 in Week 3, then 26-12 in the regional championship.

Lattimore said the 25-21 win over De La Salle was a special moment this season.

"Everybody thought we’d get beat since they were the defending state champs,” said Lattimore, who made The Detroit News Dream Team. “We stuck together, everybody stepped up, and we came out on top.

“Another big game was the first time we played King. I missed an interception, but helped us get the ball back by making two tackles for lost yardage. However, we came up short when we got stopped on a fourth down deep in their territory.”

Next fall, it’s on to Iowa for Lattimore, who was also offered late by Michigan State.

“I’m actually on my official visit to Iowa right now,” Lattimore said Saturday night. “I’m getting to know the staff, check out the campus, the new dorms. We have it nice in Iowa City.

“It’s like a family. They came in and offered me back in February. I went to visit in March and knew it was the right place for me. It’s just a great fit. Four weeks ago Michigan State offered me, but didn’t consider it. They came in late and I didn’t have a chance to have a bond with the coaching staff. I told them I was 100-percent committed to Iowa.”

Lattimore is friends with Detroit Renaissance three-star tackle Alaric (A.J.) Jackson, who received 18 offers, including MSU, Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

Jackson and East English defensive end Chauncey Golston visited Iowa with Lattimore. Golston is also committed to the Hawkeyes.

“We all flew out together," Lattimore said. "There’s a possibility (Jackson) could be coming (to Iowa) with us. The coaching staff here is pretty cool. I love Coach Parker (defensive coordinator Phil Parker). That’s my guy.”

Lattimore is returning home from Iowa City only to get back in a plane Tuesday to travel to Dallas, where he will prepare to play for Team USA in the International Bowl against Canada next Sunday at AT&T Stadium.

Lattimore will miss Friday’s PSL showdown with Renaissance in basketball.

“Hopefully, we’ll play them again for the PSL championship,” Lattimore said. “We’re having a great year, tied for first with Renaissance."

Lattimore said Northern Illinois offered him the opportunity to play both sports.

"I also got offers to play basketball at Bowling Green, Robert Morris and Florida A&M, but there’s not too many 6-5 power forwards in the NBA," Lattimore said. "I got the heart, just not the height"

But Cedrick Lattimore does have the size and the heart to go a long way in football.

DETROIT NEWS BLUE CHIP COUNTDOWN

No. 9 Cedrick Lattimore, Detroit East English (Iowa)

No. 10 Trishton Jackson, West Bloomfield (Michigan State)

No. 11 David Reese, Farmington (Florida)

No. 12 Brandon Randle, Battle Creek Central (Michigan State)

No. 13 Josh Jackson, Saline (Virginia Tech)

No. 14 Martell Pettaway, Detroit King (West Virginia)

No. 15 Brad Tanner, Romeo (Western Michigan)