Slade Has Leader, But Needs More Visits

MONTCLAIR, N.J. -- Defensive end Darius Slade helped Montclair High reach the NJSIAA North Jersey Group V title game, and after it he told he is looking at a trio of Big Ten schools, and he has a clear-cut leader.

Montclair (N.J.) High defensive end Darius Slade has a clear-cut leader, but before committing a school he wants to have a few reference points for comparison.

The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Slade has Michigan State as his leader, but will visit Penn State unofficially Sunday and is traveling to Nebraska for an official visit Nov. 28.

"I'm pretty much with the Big Ten right now," Slade said. "I love the Big Ten. Michigan State is actually my No. 1. I'm going out to Penn State (today) for the weekend. I'm going to Nebraska next weekend. After that, I will make my decision.

"It's definitely going to be a few days after I get back from Nebraska. I'm not sure exactly what date but it will be before my state championship game (Dec. 7)."

Slade is visiting Penn State, which recently became involved with the Nittany Lions when he was told by the staff he had an offer.

"They came into the process a little bit late," Slade said. "I just feel like I should pay my dues and respect to Penn State and give them a chance. I feel like I should go there and see what they're about."

His cousin, Jared Odrick, played for the Nittany Lions and was pushing him to make a visit.

"He played at Penn State, and he liked it," Slade said. "I want to see what they're all about, but Michigan State is definitely No. 1 right now."

The reason for the trip to Nebraska is so he has a frame of reference to gauge his trip last month to Michigan State.

"I want to see a lot of things I saw at Michigan State, and if I don't, Michigan State will stay my No. 1," he said. "I want to get a feel for the area, a feel for the football program, and go out there and have a good time."

So, what it is about Michigan State that Slade finds so appealing?

"For the past few years, I've been playing with one of the best defenses in our division, and I just look forward to playing on a great defense," Slade said. "Michigan State has the No. 1 defense, and I want to be part of a great team, a great defense, and I fit in with those players great.

"I'm taking a few more visits to see if someone can challenge them."

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