Michael Deeb (Linebacker, 6'2" 230 pounds):"1,000 percent committed" in his own words since offering his pledge during the summer, the American Heritage School (Plantation, Fla.) star offers the following to Brian Dohn of Irisheyes.com after his official visit to campus, one that coincided with a thrilling 13-6 win over Michigan:
"I've never seen so much energy and passion for a football team in one small area, on one campus," Deeb said. "It was insane. I've never experienced anything like it. It almost felt like after two days of being there that I was home. …For me, it was like, ‘Ok, let's check into my dorm.'
"Just seeing tents set up and RVs parked all over the place," Deeb said, "projectors with big televisions for the (other) games, people two and three nights before the game already staying out the and barbecuing, everyone is friendly and people are calling your name and you don't even know them but they follow recruiting and already know you …it's just such a special feeling.
"And on top of that, the campus is so beautiful. It's just a good feeling to be there."
Veterans returning at Linebacker: 5th-year senior Carlo Calabrese, 5th-year senior Dan Fox, senior Prince Shembo (1), senior Kendall Moore (2), senior Justin Utupo (2), junior Ishaq Williams (1), junior Jarrett Grace (3), junior Ben Councell (3), junior Anthony Rabasa, sophomore Romeo Okwara (3)
Berk on Smith: Has the physical size to come in and compete early for reps as an inside linebacker. Does a great job of filling the hole in the run game while also getting off block and stepping over the trash.
Dohn on Deeb: If you want to see a tackling machine, watch Deeb. He is a classic middle linebacker. He runs downhill to make hits, shoots through gaps quickly and is physical on impact. He needs to improve his speed to run to the edges, but in Notre Dame's defensive scheme it should not be a huge deal.
O'Malley's Initial SlottingDeeb reads initial action in front of him well, moves laterally through traffic, and has undervalued straight-line speed. Most important, he's a contact player, and with 15-20 more pounds on his frame by spring 2014, will be a redshirt-freshman capable of challenging for the starting WIll linebacker role after the departure of 5th-year seniors Carlo Calabrese and Dan Fox.
Redshirt-sophomore Jarrett Grace appears to be the future Mike at Notre Dame; Deeb could join him in the lineup as early as 2014 after which Deeb should have three seasons of eligibility remaining.
Unlike many high school stars moving to the next level, Deeb has a natural fit as an inside linebacker. He's instinctive, aggressive, and like fellow frosh Jaylon Smith, understands at the snap what the offense is trying to accomplish. He'll likely be among the first players noted for a strong August camp by head coach Brian Kelly, but few true freshman belong on the playing field inside against major competition.
Links of Note: Click the links below for more highlight reels and comprehensive recruitment information for Michael Deeb: