When the prestigious event ended, Fedora met the campers at midfield of Kenan Stadium where he called the pledges in attendance to stand behind him. Fedora then asked “Who’s next?” which prompted Javaris Davis, Juval Mollette, and Nick Polino to verbally commit.
The maneuver was so clever that Deablo, a 6-foot-2, 195-pounder from Winston-Salem (N.C.) Mount Tabor, nearly committed himself.
“I just thought about every school I’ve been to and if I’m ready,” Deablo said. “For a second I was about to [jump up] and I just decided to stand there and watch everybody else [commit], because I’m still waiting. I just thought about all the colleges I haven’t visited and all the colleges that I like.”
Heading into the Freak Show, UNC was steadily losing ground with Deablo. The Freak Show experience, including the “Who’s next” ending, provided the Tar Heels with a much needed shot of turbo.
“It gives them more of a boost, because I was losing interest in them,” Deablo said. “I actually got to experience again what the coaches are like. And I got to meet some of the players and they got me pumped up. They cheered whenever somebody caught a ball or a cornerback made a good play on defense.”
UNC is now firmly planted among the schools Deablo is favoring. Clemson, Duke, and Virginia Tech also find themselves with a similar designation.
“I would say that Clemson is a little bit higher, but not really,” Deablo said. “Everybody [at Clemson] treats me like family. The coaches there whenever they got the chance come up to talk to me at their camp. And I got to ride around the campus in the cart with Coach [Dan] Brooks.”
Besides Clemson and UNC, Deablo camped at Duke and Wake Forest this summer. He believes he’s finished with visits until the football season where he plans to attend a game at as many of his 15 scholarship offering schools as possible.
Physically, Deablo wasn’t prepared to compete at Fedora’s Freak Show, and that showed early on.
“I started rough, but I finished pretty good,” Deablo said. “I had just come from a 7-on-7 earlier that day. I was kind of tired, so I dropped some passes early on at the Freak Show. But I finished strong.”
Playing under the lights of Kenan Stadium with music blaring gave Deablo an adrenaline boost.
“It helped me loosen up and get pumped up a little bit,” Deablo said. “There was a lot of competition and I like competition, so that got me pumped up a little bit more, too.”
Deablo attended a one-day camp at UNC last summer, but quickly realized Fedora’s Freak Show is a different ball game.
“The Freak Show has way more competition,” Deablo said. “And it’s more exciting.”
Similar to last summer, Deablo worked out under the guidance of Gunter Brewer, the Tar Heels’ wide receivers coach.
“I learned to always look the ball in no matter what,” Deablo said. “[Brewer] reminded me of that.”
To Deablo’s surprise, the camp concluded with a mini dodge ball tournament.
“I hadn’t played in a while, so I really stunk it up out there,” Deablo said with a laugh. “It was fun, though. I liked that they did that. It says that they aren’t just all serious about football – they always want you to have fun.”