BY RUSSELL HUFFMAN
NFL draft prospect and Tarleton State University linebacker E.J. Speed knows about change and adversity which has only made him stronger as he has risen to every challenge placed in his path.
Now with the 2019 NFL draft just around the corner news has emerged that the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers have expressed interest in the quarterback turned wide receiver and finally morphed into a team-leading tackler at linebacker.
A 2013 graduate of North Crowley High School, Speed was expected to be on scouting radars as a quarterback after throwing for more than 3,000 yards his senior season. Speed also caught 30 passes for 400 yards and rushed for 350 more as a real “triple-threat” player.
The Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine Top-30 prospect red-shirted at Tarleton his first season and converted to playing wide-receiver full time. His redshirt freshman season ended before it began due to an injury that caused him to miss the entire season. His medical red-shirt freshman season gave a few hints of what was to come his sophomore year where he led the nation in forced fumbles and was a second-team All-Lone Star Conference selection.
The injury bug bit Speed during his junior year as he played in only five games making 41 tackles including a season-high 12 tackles in the Delta State opener.
Speed’s senior year was the college gem he had been searching for as he fulfilled the potential the switch the linebacker promised as he recorded a team-high 106 tackles with 55 of those solo stops. Speed recorded 12 tackles for losses, five sacks and an interception as the Texans ran out an undefeated LSC season and finished the year 12-1 in the third round of the NCAA D2 playoffs.
While it is unknown where Speed may be taken in the draft there are some later round indications to the talk teams may not use a draft choice on him, but want to open lines of communication to invite him to an NFL training camp.