Omar Speights, a 4-star recruit and Oregon State commit, will transfer to a high school in Oregon, according to Northeast coach Phil Gormley.
Speights is a 6-foot-1, 220-pound linebacker and defensive end who burst onto the national recruiting scene as a sophomore at Imhotep, one of the premier football programs in the state — and the country.
A 4-star recruit, according to Rivals.com, Speights transferred to Northeast during the second semester of his junior year.
Gormley said Speights met with the Northeast coaches Thursday morning and his teammates that afternoon.
“For selfish reasons, I obviously wanted him to stay,” Gormley said. “But his mom made the decision that the city is violent, and she doesn’t want her son to stay here.”
Gormley said that the recent murder of Kristian Marche, one of Speights’s former teammates at Imhotep, “shook” up Speights’ mother, Patricia Reichner, who confirmed her feelings via Twitter.
Marche graduated from Imhotep in June and was a scholarship track athlete set to attend Penn State. He was shot in the back of the head on Aug. 13, according to police, just days before he was to leave for college.
“Like any parent that has a young son, she’s afraid,” Gormley said of Speights’ mother. “She doesn’t want to take any chances. I understand how she feels. He’s a young kid. He has a girlfriend, and he goes to places all over the city.”
In June, Speights committed to Oregon State, where his older brother, Jeromy Reichner, formerly a defensive end at West Catholic, is currently a redshirt junior.
Gormley said that Speights may have left for Oregon on Friday.
The Vikings (1-0) beat Abington, 20-0, on Friday.