Slade Planning Visits

Darius Slade

Monclair (N.J.) High defensive end Darius Slade holds four offers and a number of other schools stopped by during the spring evaluation period, and he reveals what visits he plans to make, and what he wants in a defense.

Darius Slade visited Rutgers recently to get a better feel for his adoptive home state school and left with an offer, and the Montclair (N.J.) High defensive end is eyeing a pair of other trips as well.

"I definitely want to visit Michigan State" he said. "And I want to visit West Virginia."

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound already holds offers from the Scarlet Knights, Temple, Stony Brook and Massachusetts, and he is also being recruited by Michigan State, West Virginia, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Virginia and Boston College.

Slade made 45 tackles, including 13 ½ sacks, as a junior in Montclair's ride to a state title as he played defensive end and also spent time at outside linebacker.

"Rutgers is definitely a school I'm highly interested in," said Slade, who plans to camp at Rutgers next month. "There are also other schools I'm highly interested in right now. The coaches are great."

Slade transferred from Newark (Del.) Hodgson Vo Tech, where Rutgers players Jamal Merrell and Jamil Merrell starred, before his junior season.

"I know they played there, but they left before my freshman year," Slade said. "I never got a chance to meet them, but I know they went there."

Slade likes the Scarlet Knights, but there is a deep-rooted reason he wants to visit West Virginia.

"West Virginia is a school I've been liking since I was a young kid," he said. "I talked to (assistant) coach (Brian Mitchell) and he said they really want me."

Slade is also being recruited by Mountaineers signee Marcel Lazard, who played offensive tackle for Bloomfield (N.J.) against Montclair in the state title game.

"He's a rival, but he's a great player," Slade said. "I told him it would be great if we played at the same level and same team."

Michigan State's defensive scheme is a reason why he wants to visit the East Lansing, Mich., school.

"I heard a lot of really good things about Michigan State and they also run a 3-4 defense," Slade said. "That's the defense that I'm leaning toward and fits someone like me who has the speed and maybe some quickness. Anywhere I go I'm going to work hard and do what the coaches want me to do and wherever the coaches put me, I'll believe it's the best for me.

"But being I have some speed, I would like to go into a 3-4 and be a defensive end/linebacker. It's something I want to take advantage of, and Michigan State runs a 3-4. I definitely want to get to Michigan State and check them out."

Slade added he is not close to making a decision because he wants to visit schools and see which ones will extend offers.

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