Southwestern Academy (Flint, Mich.) four-star lineman Deron Irving-Bey saw College Park, Md., for the first time at a summer camp, and almost a half-year later he returned for an official visit Dec. 2-4. The 6-foot-5, 275-pound Army All-American, who the Terps are recruited as both an offensive tackle and defensive end, called his first official experience “wonderful” and “exciting.”
“The visit blew my mind, honestly,” said Irving-Bey, who is also considering Michigan and Michigan State. “I was at Maryland before, but coming in I really didn’t know too much about the program. But after this weekend, learning about all the opportunities there, learning about how they could help me after football, and then just talking to the players and coaches, I really like what they have to offer.
“I haven’t been on any other officials, so I can’t really rate this one or compare it, but I did really enjoy myself at Maryland.”
Irving-Bey said the best part of his College Park stay was hanging out with the current Terps. He said he spent the majority of his stay with an array of linemen, who showed him a great time.
“They were some real cool dudes. I’ve got to be honest, I don’t remember names because I’m not real good with names, but I really liked being around the players,” laughed Irving-Bey. “Just talking to them, interacting with them, fitting in with them – I was real comfortable around the team. That’s a big thing for me, being happy with the people I’m with. And I definitely liked being around [the Terps].”
Irving-Bey mentioned he spoke to most of Maryland’s staff members, with the majority of his time with line coach Dave Borbely, defensive line coach Mike London and head coach D.J. Durkin.
“The Maryland coaches are great, and I feel like they can really help you develop. They really know what they’re doing,” Irving-Bey said. “Coach Borbs, he was talking about the different techniques and showing me different things, and I can tell he knows what he’s talking about. Same with Coach London; he has a great resume.
“But basically they were just saying how they’d love to coach me and how Maryland would be a great opportunities for me if I went there. Like, Coach Durkin, he was saying how at some programs, they’re already built up and you can be just another piece there. But at Maryland, I could be a big part of building the program up – being the foundation of a program. So that really made me think about things. It was definitely something to think about.”
Irving-Bey also likes how the Terps are giving him a chance to prove himself on both sides of the ball. Most programs are recruiting the four-star as purely a defensive end.
“I mean, that’s great. At my high school, we don’t have a ton of bodies, so I go both ways,” Irving-Bey said. “So it would be like playing high school ball [in college] (laughs). It’s a great opportunity.”
The Michigan native also mentioned that he liked College Park’s location next to Washington, D.C. Irving-Bey and his fellow recruits had an opportunity to spend time in the nation’s capital, which left the four-star impressed.
“There are definitely a lot of things to do at Maryland, and a lot of opportunities for internships and things like that. Being next to D.C., that makes Maryland stand out. That’s big,” said Irving-Bey, who made sure to note how much he enjoyed the Terps-Oklahoma State basketball game in Xfinity Center Dec. 3. “It’s a great place to be, that’s for sure. I really liked that, and also just the academics there and the campus.”
Next up, Irving-Bey will head to Michigan, the presumptive favorite, Dec. 9. He said he’d like to officially visit Michigan State too, but he’s not sure he’ll be able to since he plans to commit at the Army All-American game Jan. 7. A dead period sets in Dec. 12 and extends to mid-January, so for Irving-Bey to see MSU he’d have to push back his announcement date.
“Yeah, I’m not sure what I’m going to do with that,” Irving-Bey said. “As of right now, though, I’ll be at Michigan [Dec. 9] and I still plan to commit at the Army game.”