Freshman defensive back Tyrece Speaight (5-foot-10, 160-pounds) certainly stood out for the Irish, contributing a key interception and showing extremely well in coverage.
"This is so amazing, because I'm playing with a great group of guys, and we all wanted to win this for the seniors," Speaight stated. "I'm glad to be able to contribute to this great victory. I have the ability to tackle and make plays, so my coaches trust me."
"On the interception, I just read the quarterback's eyes and jumped the route," he added. "That was a big play for us, and I'm just happy to be able to do my part."
Although college recruiting is a long way for Speaight, he has participated in one college camp to date. He also has an early favorite school.
"I did go to the Akron camp, but that was just after my eighth grade year," he explained. "I definitely want to try to go to a bunch of them this summer."
"Michigan is my number-one, for sure," Speaight stressed. "I would love to go there some day. My other team would be Ohio State, but I have three years left to worry about that stuff. My dad loves Ohio State, so it's just a fun thing between us, with me loving Michigan."
EVALUATION: Even though Speaight is all arms and legs right now, the skill set is extremely impressive. He has speed, and the willingness to stick his nose in there and tackle bigger guys. The fact that he can stand out in a state championship game and not be intimidated at all by the environment speaks for itself. It's very tough to rank freshmen that have three years of varsity competition remaining, but Speaight is definitely a player to watch going forward in Ohio. He's playing safety now, but probably projects as a cornerback.