Deboef's trek began last Thursday in Gainesville where he attended Florida's "Friday Night Lights" the following evening. On Saturday, the 6-foot-7, 265-pound offensive tackle from State College (Pa.) attended South Carolina's "Gamecocks Showcase" and then he visited both UNC and NC State Sunday. He concluded his travels with a visit to Maryland on Monday.
"[The schools I visited] are probably the frontrunners of the group right now," Deboef said. "I'm not going to say that counts out any of the other schools that have offered me. Those are the only schools I've visited that have offered me so far, excluding Florida."
Before the summer ends, Deboef hopes to put together one last tour – a northwest trip that would include Purdue.
"I'm going to try to keep a handle on all this recruiting stuff, but at the same time, I want to focus on my senior season," Deboef said.
With assistance from his parents and head football coach, Deboef plans to start putting together a list of five final schools midway through the football season.
"Basically what it comes down to, I know who has offered me [and] I know where I stand with them," Deboef said. "I'm going to play my heart out my senior season… Hopefully, if it all plays out right and I do really well my senior season, I might get a few more offers. Also, the interest level from the schools that have offered is certain to change. And that will change or solidify my decisions."
Florida is the one school that hasn't offered but Deboef hopes to impress with his play this fall.
"When I was down [in Florida for ‘Friday Night Lights'], it seemed like a great program," Deboef said. "… It was just, I got a good feeling down there. If they offered me, it would be fantastic."
Deboef will take all five of his official visits after the football season.
"It would be better for me and the coaching staff to [take official visits] sometime in December after the season so that they can spend more time with me and give me more attention," Deboef said. "They can just focus on me, rather than trying to fit me in and worry about the game at the same time."
By far, academics will be Deboef's greatest deciding factor.
"A good football program is in [with my deciding factors], too," Deboef said. "… I definitely have to see the campus – I want to know where I'm going to play. I want to be structured – UNC and NC State both have a lot of the structure that I'm talking about."
On Sunday, Deboef spent nearly five hours in Chapel Hill, including three-and-a-half hours on UNC's campus.
"I spent some time walking around town," Deboef said. "I had dinner at one of the local restaurants on Franklin Street – Top of the Hill. I dined outside on the top – that was real cool."
Upon his arrival on campus, Deboef met with Allen Mogridge, his primary recruiter. Mogridge introduced him to Sam Pittman, UNC's offensive line coach, and then Shoop.
"One of the things that really stuck out to me was their philosophy: I will not only learn how to play football and not only become a better athlete and have them prepare me for future in my football career, but they also have me firing off the ball in the academic world," Deboef said.
"And another thing Coach Shoop kept telling me while we were talking about what type of offense they run and what philosophy they use, that I will not only be able to play football but I'll be able to teach it. Because the way they structure it, they teach the offensive line the reasons they block, rather than this is your responsibility, this is what you do. Every position knows why they have a certain block [and] how important the block is."
Deboef's campus stay concluded with Mogridge giving him a campus tour by golf cart.
"The campus was beautiful," Deboef said. "The stadium I thought was really cool, because it was just tucked back in there behind the trees in the middle of the campus."
Deboef said he didn't get a chance to speak to Butch Davis, who was in Greensboro for the ACC Kickoff.