Story and photo by Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
College of the Canyons All-American middle linebacker Tariq Speights has signed with Eastern Michigan University after a freshman season in which he was named the state Defensive Player of the Year.
Eastern Michigan is an NCAA Division I program located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The Eagles compete in the Mid-American Conference.
Speights finished the 2018 campaign with a team-best 76 total tackles, including 53 of the solo variety, to go with four sacks, eight tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception through 11 contests.
The Valencia High School graduate recorded seven games with at least seven tackles, while creating turnovers in four contests.
Speights was the clear leader on a Cougar defensive unit that limited opponents to a state-best 9.5 points per game through the regular season, while surrendering just 10 touchdowns.
At season's end the freshman received 2018 California Community College Football Coaches Association (CCCFCA) All-America Team honors.
Speights was also named the 2018 Region III All-California Community College Defensive Player of the Year and the Southern California Football Association (SCFA) National Division, Northern League Defensive Player of the Year.
In May, Speights received his associate degree during the college's annual commencement ceremony.
Twelve members of the Cougars' 2018 conference championship team have signed with four-year schools so far this spring.
Stay up to date on all this season's action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.