Deron Irving-Bey's first visit to Michigan Michigan last month for the Wolverines’ annual Barbecue at The Big House was a memorable one. That experience solidified the Wolverines place among the favorites for one of the Flint (Mich.) Southwestern standout. Now Jim Harbaugh & company are going about the business of trying to separate themselves from a pack that also includes, Michigan State, Tennessee, Maryland, and Howard. The Maize & Blue got off to a good start when it hosted the talented youngster last weekend for its 63-3 drubbing of Hawaii in the season opener.
“It blew me away,” Irving-Bey said of the visit. “It was great. I was going back in the tunnel after the game and somebody from the crowd called my name. That’s when everybody started calling my name. They were like “Deron, you’ve got to come to Michigan. We need you! We need you at Michigan. Come on Deron… be a Wolverine!” I was like, ‘wow… how do they even know me?”
As awestruck as he was by the adulation from the fans, it paled in comparison to what he felt when he bumped into Michigan’s honorary captain Michael Jordan prior to the game.
“I got a handshake from him,” said Irving-Bey with a smile that beamed through the phone. “He was really moving. I was hyped up. It was crazy. My mom was there. She saw everything. It was a good experience.”
After all of the excitement Irving-Bey had a chance to spend more time with Greg Mattison. The Wolverines defensive line coach has long expressed an openness to the talented youngster’s desire to play defensive end. Now Irving-Bey is making it clear to all the schools courting him that it no longer matters to him whether he plays inside or outside.
“I really think I’m going to be a defensive tackle in college,” the 6-4, 280-pounder said. “Whatever it takes for the team to win… I’m cool with anything.”
That’s likely music to the ears of his top remaining contenders. He plans to take official visits to the four Power Five schools on his list. Whether he takes a fifth one remains to be seen. Only after those visits will Irving-Bey shed light on any possible leanings.
Said Irving-Bey, “everybody pretty much the same right now.”