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Catching up with Salmon, Craig and other North Suncoast recruits

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Mon. January 20, 2014 | Mary Kenney

Land O’Lakes’ defensive linchpin Shaheed Salmon picked up his first verbal offer from South Dakota State, a Division I-AA program, in December. Since then he’s added five more: Southwest Baptist, Alabama State, Central Arkansas, Jacksonville University and Wyoming - his first D-I offer.

Salmon visits Wyoming on Jan. 31. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker had 117 tackles, 8.5 sacks, three fumble recoveries and three interceptions — including one recovered for a touchdown — as a senior.

Land O'Lakes defensive back Deionte Strozier also claimed an offer from from Nebraska-Kearney over the weekend.

• Pasco’s Malik Johns committed to Samford on Christmas — citing the school’s academic reputation as a selling point — but still has several options on the back burner, including Wyoming, Appalachian State, FIU and Florida Atlantic. Johns will visit Wyoming next week.

Johns was one of the most versatile players on the North Suncoast in 2013 with 1,078 rushing yards, 345 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns.

Johns’ teammate, junior tight end Bowman Archibald, is also raking in offers. The 6-foot-6, 240-pounder is up to six: Florida, Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Kentucky, Mississippi State and Indiana.

Another Pirate, receiver Nate Craig, landed another big offer - from Auburn. The Tigers join UF, Florida State, Ohio State and a handful of other major programs that have offered the 6-foot-3, 200-pound sophomore.

• Hernando linebacker Jeremiah Jackson said in a text message that he will likely take an official visit to Ball State. The Cardinals became the latest school to offer him a scholarship when they pulled the trigger on the 6-foot, 210-pound senior last week. The Times’ North Suncoast defensive player of the year has also been recruited by UMass, Purdue and Eastern Kentucky, among others. 

Hernando offensive lineman Connor Foradas remains firm with his commitment to Wofford. “I went on my official visit last weekend and am very happy with my decision,” Foradas said in a text message. The 6-foot-5, 280-pound senior held an offer from Buffalo and was recruited by Purdue and Middle Tennessee, among others, and made an oral pledge to the Terriers last month. 

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