After committing to UNC Chapel Hill to play baseball early on in his high school career, Brock Deatherage has expressed interest in playing college football. Shortly after that, the offers started coming in for both sports. East Carolina is one of four schools to offer Deatherage to play baseball and football.
"Every school that has offered is saying I can play both," the six foot 175 pound Deatherage said. "I guess they realized that baseball is something I've done my whole life and that I enjoy it. They're giving me the opportunity to play both like I've wanted and I'm really confident I can perform in both sports.
Deatherage visited ECU last Sunday during a camp. While he didn't participate in the camp, he took an official visit. His visit was slightly different than most recruits.
"I met with the football coaches and the baseball coaches at ECU," he said. "When I got there I met with (Defensive Line) coach (Marc) Yellock, my recruiter, and talked to him with my parents. We went in the coaches meeting room and waited on (Defensive Coordinator) Rick Smith, he was the coach that offered me. We got there early and they had a kicking camp going on so we had a lot of time to talk with Yellock and Smith. After that, we took our campus tour and rode around on a golf cart. We toured the football facilities, the field and saw everything. I learned a lot about the campus, the program and the school.
The coaching staff left a good impression on Deatherage, he even had some one-on-one time with coach Rick Smith and had time for board work.
"When Coach Smith showed up we talked to him for the longest time," Deatherage said. "He talked about what was going on in the program, and introduced himself to my parents. After that, he gave the spiel about football, what my role would be and how I would fit in the program. He even drew some stuff on the board and showed me where I'd sit on the depth chart. When we talked with Head Coach Ruffin McNeill it was the first time I had ever met him. I was very impressed with how he carried himself and how he goes about things. I also like the family feel he talked about in the program."
Deatherage had been to ECU before to play baseball in high school, but this visit gave him an inside look into what Pirate football is about.
"When I went there to play baseball I didn't know much about the football," he said. "All I did was see the stadium and weight room in passing. This time I got to get a feel for it and interact with the coaches. It was nice to meet them finally and I got to set the bottom stone to the relationship that could build if I play football there. I didn't know much about the academics or campus so it was a big thing to see what that had to offer. Going onto the field, listening to the tour and hearing about the games was a good experience and I learned a lot information. My parents and I really enjoyed it."
Deatherage said he enjoyed finally getting to know the coaches that had been recruiting him. He got to learn about how they do business.
Four schools have offered Deatherage to play both sports, but more offers could be on the way from in-state schools soon.
"Bucknell is my most recent offer," he said. "Wake Forest is still in the mix and said they'd let me know by the end of the month if they're going to offer. I went to N.C. State today (Thursday) and they're in the mix as well. My four offers include ECU, UNC Charlotte, Bucknell and Elon. Appalachian State is getting on me hard and want me to come to a camp, but I don't think I'll make it up there."
Early summer has been busy for Deatherage, but he could make a couple more visits before it's all said and done.
"I went to baseball camp at UNC (Chapel Hill)," Deatherage said. "They told me I could start with baseball if I went there and maybe later I could go to football. After I settled in, I could walk-on and possibly earn a scholarship. I am done with camps for right now, I've been to Duke, UNC (Chapel Hill), N.C. State and last week I was signed up to camp at ECU but changed it to just a visit. I have one more camp in July at Wake Forest, but no scheduled visits. That could change with time."
The Pirates have a leg up in getting Deatherage to play football.
"Football wise ECU is on top," he said. "Carolina is in the mix because of baseball. It's really between ECU and Carolina right now, but if I had to go play football somewhere it would be ECU."
With an average 40-yard dash time of 4.3 seconds and great ball skills, Deatherage could make an immediate impact in both sports early on in his college career. As far as his decision goes, he has his mind made up.
"I still the plan on making the decision at the end of July or early August," Deatherage said. "I'm going to weigh my options and decide what is best for me so I can coast my senior year, play loose and have fun."
ECU has a good chance of getting Deatherage right now. His visit helped expand his knowledge of what the school and program is about. Barring any extraordinary offers or a change of heart, the Pirates have a chance of adding defensive-back with next-level speed to their 2014 class.