“Diondre is a good football player considering this is the first year that he has played,” Page head coach Kevin Gillespie said. “… Whether you know it’s his first year playing or not, when you watch him and you look at him, he’s long – he has long arms. He’s got a long frame. He can run, he can move. He does a good job catching the ball. He’s 6-5 and he’s a great student – academics won’t be a problem.
“A lot of people look at a big, tall wideout you think of flash. But he’s also a physical guy. He’s very, very, very hard to jam, instinctively – that’s where basketball comes in. And then blocking – he’s a physical blocker. He likes to stick his nose in and he’ll lay the lick, too.”
Overton transferred to Page from Greensboro (N.C.) Southeast Guilford during his sophomore year. Up until that point, he had never played organized football – his focus was basketball.
“He was in my weightlifting class, so I just started recruiting him,” Gillespie said. “’Come on, the football will look good in your hands.’”
Gillespie’s pitch was successful.
“Basically, I just gave it a try because I was trying to get stronger for basketball,” Overton said. “But once I got out there, I fell in love with the game of football.”
Not only did he fall in love, Overton excelled. He ended the 2014 season as Page’s leading receiver (62 receptions for 1,154 yards and 11 touchdowns.
“He really progressed throughout the season – picking up little things that you just don’t coach,” Gillespie said. “[Things] that you’ve got to do to experience them. Early in the year, he concentrated on just catching the ball and you could see that. But the longer the season went the more he started learning how to learn the route and catch the ball. Then he started worrying about, ‘Alright, I’m going to catch this ball and then I’m going to make you miss.’ He started figuring out ways to make the defender miss and gain yards after the catch.”
Despite his limited football experience, Overton has quite a lengthy scholarship offer list.
“He has 14 [offers] and growing,” Gillespie said. “Whenever somebody gets the chance to see [his] film, they’ll give me a call. And then when they see him, so far it’s been an offer.”
Old Dominion extended Overton his first scholarship offer in early December. Since then he has collected offers from Boston College, Clemson, Duke, East Carolina, Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina, NC State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and West Virginia.
“Dealing with this before, I think he’s going to be a national guy,” Gillespie said. “… To me, he’s a no-brainer. He’s a good kid from a good family, a great player, and then when you find out this was the first year he’s played and you know he’s not going to do anything but get better, the sky is the limit.”
UNC offered when area recruiter, Chris Kapilovic, visited during the Winter Evaluation Period.
“I think their interest is pretty high, because I know they’re not taking many receivers in this class,” Gillespie said. “Early on, I don’t think they were looking to take a big, tall wideout. But I think it was one of those things that once they had a chance to evaluate him, they’ve been all over him.”
That interest included an invitation to UNC’s first junior day a couple of weeks ago. Previously, Overton had visited UNC and saw the basketball side of the school as a guest of classmate Ty Graves, who eventually committed to Boston College for basketball.
“[UNC’s] football program is very unique,” Overton said. “I like the up-tempo offense. And also, I like the wide receiver theme – they have this ‘Freak for Life’ theme. That really caught my eye.”
Overton’s UNC Junior Day schedule included a meeting with Larry Fedora.
“He was basically telling me that they didn’t just want me for football,” Overton said. “They want me to focus on my education and make sure I have a great school to go to education-wise.”
The junior day ended in the Smith Center with UNC’s basketball victory over Florida State.
“The environment was pretty cool,” Overton said. “I like the fans and the student section, because they were all into it.”
Speaking of basketball, Overton has discussed walking onto UNC’s basketball team with Kapilovic. Overton is averaging 15 points, six rebounds, and five steals this season for Page.
“He said that’s a possibility…” Overton said. “I definitely want to do that my freshman year, but I feel like I’m going to be picking one [sport] my sophomore year.”
Virginia Tech is the only school to have offered Overton for both sports.
Overton has also attended basketball and football games at NC State. Additionally, he attended Clemson’s Junior Day the weekend before Signing Day.
On June 7, Overton plans to visit Boston College. He’s also working on trips to South Carolina and Virginia Tech.
“The schools that are definitely showing the most interest are North Carolina, Clemson, and I’d say NC State,” Overton said.
Basketball is Overton’s first love and he grew up a UNC basketball fan… Besides Graves, Overton is close friends with Emmanuel Mosley, a defensive back at Tennessee, and played pickup basketball with UNC’s Theo Pinson. Also, his older brother, Montese, is a starting linebacker for ECU… Overton plans to major in either sports management or sports medicine.