One of the best kept secrets in Michigan is officially out. Over the past month both Michigan State and Michigan offered Flint Southwestern DL/OL Deron Irving-Bey a scholarship, with the latter having been extended just yesterday. It’s news has his high school coach Chane Clingman beaming with pride.
"Deron actually will be a four year varsity player, so we're just kind of seeing some things that we always believed come to life,” said Clingman. “We always believed Deron would blow up in his junior year because he's got great size at 6-5. He's filling out too. He weighs 270 now, (has) long arms and he's an explosive player. Last year I think he had 24 tackles for loss, so that's a lot of tackles in the backfield over the course of a season. We've been working with Deron for a long time and glad to see he's becoming the player we always thought he would be. He's doing well at the camps he's been to. He went to Chicago and fared well at the Adidas camp, he did well at Camp pride in Brighton, and did well at the Midwest elite. He was voted best of the best of the linemen down there. He's had a good off-season and we're looking for him to have an even better senior season along with his cousin Marcus Bey, who plays linebacker for us and is an exceptional talent as well."
The offers from the two in-state rivals are likely a sign of things to come. Irving-Bey’s combination of size and athleticism is sure to garner more attention. So too is his versatility. Some scouts believe his ceiling is just as high as an offensive lineman if not higher.
"It's funny you say that cause some schools have offered him to play either one he wants,” Clingman said. “I know Central (Michigan) likes him as an offensive lineman. He likes the defensive side of the ball, but he's a football player so he'll do whatever the school decides is best for him. Same way when he's in practice for us saying, ‘coach I'll do whatever you need me to do.’ He's played tight end, offensive tackle and also defensive end."
Just as the flood gates for more attention seem set to open, buzz of an early decision for Michigan State has been growing. While it’s clear the Spartans gained significant momentum from their late March offer, Clingman believes his star pupil might be content to wait and see what else comes his way.
"I know he does love Michigan State,” said Clingman. “He had a great time, we went down and toured the school. He does like State, but again… it's still early and he hasn't decided where he's going to school yet."
At this point he's just enjoying the fact that somebody is interested in him. He really is enjoying that. We're talking about an inner-city kid that's worked his way to where he is and now he's just starting to reap some of the benefits of that hard work. So he's enjoying that."
When decision time eventually does roll around for Irving-Bey, Clingman has of a good idea of which factors will be the most significant.
"Deron is from Flint, Michigan and he's close to his family,” Clingman explained. “I think he wants a quality education, a coaching staff that shows that they have his best interests, and I think he wants his family to be able to see him play. Whether that's going to a real game or be able to watch him on TV. I know those are some of the things that he's expressed to me. At the end of the day he just loves football and wants to play, so I'm sure he'll be happy wherever he decides to go. He wants get his degree and receive a quality education."
Stay tuned to the Michigan Insider for more on this talented youngster in the days to come.