ND A-to-Z: Michael Deeb

There is not a position more stacked on the defensive side of the football than Mike linebacker, a spot inhabited by returning injured players Joe Schmidt and Jarrett Grace, along with promising sophomore Nyles Morgan.

A three-star prospect out of American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla., Deeb made 95 tackles, four sacks and an interception during his senior season in the prep ranks following a 90-tackle, two-sack, three-interception and five-fumbles forced junior campaign.

Deeb preserved a year of eligibility as a freshman at Notre Dame in its 23-man signing Class of 2013. As a sophomore inside linebacker, Deeb played in just two games – the regular-season finale against USC and the Music City Bowl against LSU. Deeb played a bit role at linebacker against the Trojans when injuries decimated the position.

Deeb enters his junior year with three seasons of eligibility remaining.

BEST-CASE SCENARIO

A role on Irish special teams as a junior. A lack of running speed has curtailed his chances at linebacker, which also could prevent him from earning a spot on coverage teams. Because he is a run stopper, he’s a candidate for goal-line defense situations.

WORST-CASE SCENARIO

Limited to the Mike linebacker role, Deeb is in the midst of a logjam at a heavily-populated position, which includes Joe Schmidt, Jarrett Grace and Nyles Morgan. He will have a difficult time getting on the field this fall. More likely a regular member of Notre Dame’s weekly scout team.

CAREER COMPARISON

Hard-pressed to find a direct comparison because of his limited playing time as a sophomore. David Posluszny was a three-star linebacker out of Pennsylvania who arrived at Notre Dame in 2008. The brother of Penn State/NFL linebacker David, the younger Posluszny made 89 special teams appearances as a red-shirt freshman.

Steve Paskorz and Aaron Nagel were three-star linebackers signed in 2007. Paskorz played 10 games as a red-shirt freshman and made 85 special teams appearances. He moved to fullback prior to his second year in the program. Nagel failed to land a spot in Notre Dame’s linebacker rotation and eventually transferred to Northwestern, where he played one season at slotback and caught one pass in 13 games in 2010.

DEVELOPMENT VS. RECRUITING RANKING

With a three-star ranking out of high school, Deeb was deemed the No. 3 Mike linebacker in the state of Florida and the No. 11 player at his position in the South. He also was slated as the No. 25 Mike linebacker prospect in the country. Deeb has much ground to make up to match those projections.

Best Game

To be determined.

QUOTE TO NOTE

“He brings energy to everything he does. When he walks into that locker room, it’s time to play football, and if you’re not locked in, he’s going to make sure he says something to you. We love his energy and we love the way he plays the game.”
-- Brian Kelly on signing day, 2013

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