Florida safety/linebacker prospect A.J. Deshazor was not able to fit a visit to Indiana into his schedule this summer, but he has been talking to the IU staff about setting one up for this fall. The 6-foot, 185-pound standout from Lakeland (FL) Lake Gibson H.S. spoke to Peegs.com about his recruiting, and about his interest in the Hoosiers.
Deshazor currently has offers from Indiana, LSU, Pittsburgh, Colorado, Louisville, Miami (FL), Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Central Florida, Florida International and Florida Atlantic, He said there are four or five schools that are sticking out for him and IU is one of them.
“I kind of have a top four or top five that I haven’t announced yet but Indiana is in there,” he said. “There is no order, it is just the schools that have shown me the most interest.”
The three-star recruit said the Hoosiers have made a strong impression on him and it all starts with the bond he has built with assistant coach William Inge.
“First off, with Coach Inge, he has been recruiting me since my sophomore year,” Deshazor said. “He has always kept it real and telling me it is a family over there. He tells me that I am welcome to come visit anytime I want. We communicate all the time. If it’s not every day it is every other day. I have also talked to the head coach, Coach (Kevin) Wilson, and I just love the coaching staff. If anyone ever asks me which coaching staff I feel the most comfortable with it would have to be Indiana because I just know at the end of the day they want what is best for me.”
Deshazor said that Coach Inge and the Indiana defensive coaches like his approach to football and how he plays once he steps on the field.
“They like my attitude towards the game and the intensity I bring to the field,” he said. “There is a linebacker at Indiana that is from my area, T.J. Simmons. Coach Inge thinks I could come in and make an impact just like T.J. did.”
The Lakeland, Florida native said he just needs to get up to Bloomington this fall for a visit so he can get a closer look at IU.
“We tried to work something out for this summer but with my schedule I just wasn’t able to get up there,” Deshazor said. “We are definitely working on setting something up for this fall. I just want to visit there and get a feel for the campus and how their Saturday’s are. I also want to check out some academic things as well.”
Deshazor said that academics will be one factor he uses to make his decision along with finding a staff that he knows he can trust and one he is comfortable with.
“I am looking for coaches with honesty who will keep me updated on their commitments and who will let me know where I stand with them,” he said about his factors for picking a school. “The atmosphere will also be important for me. I want to be around a positive, great atmosphere in the locker room. The academics will be big for me because I want to make sure I am taken care of when it comes to tutoring and things like that. Location isn’t a big deal for me. A lot of my offers are out of state and I have no problem going out of state for college.”
When it comes to his position the talented prospect said he feels like he has the versatility to play safety and linebacker.
“I feel like I’m a hybrid, but it all depends on the defense and the schemes they run,” Deshazor said. “Some teams want to see me at the safety position and see how I drop back in coverage. It just depends on how teams want to use me. I’m not the biggest right now at around 6-foot and 185 (pounds), but I know some coaches want to put some weight on me when I get to college.”
Deshazor said his plan is to make his official visits this fall before he is ready to make a decision on where he will play his college football.
“I plan on using all five of my official visits this fall before I make a decision,” he said.