"I came in just wanting to improve myself as a player," Deeley explained.
After playing a role on Bobby Petrino's scout team last fall, the Cardinals head coach knew going into spring practice that Deeley would compete for time in the team's secondary.
"You'll see Justin Deeley in there competing," said Petrino just prior to the start of the spring session. "He'll be a redshirt freshman walk-on from St. X that I like a lot."
Petrino was right. From day one of spring ball the redshirt freshman safety played with a determination that he credits to others and his experience of last fall.
"Last year being redshirted and working with the scout team helped me out a great deal," explained the 5-foot-10, 200-pound Deeley. "I learned a lot from the upperclassmen. Brandon and Antoine Sharp and Jon Russell, as well as Kerry Rhodes, have helped me because I was always watching how they did things and that helped a lot this spring."
Deeley helps stop the run
during Friday's spring game
"When I first came in I didn't know what to expect," Deeley explained. "If you would have told me one year ago from today that I would have the chance to run with the two's and compete for a spot on a depth chart, I probably wouldn't have believed you. I feel like I have really worked at it. Coach Cassity has really taught me a lot."
As to the question whether he thought that he impressed the U of L coaching staff this spring Deeley says that he did everything he could over the last few weeks.
"I hope I did," said Deeley. "I gave it my all this spring."