Spring Performance -- Deering did not look like a guy playing defense for the first time since high school. Spending an offseason learning safety, Deering stayed healthy and began his growth at the position. Deering is now in his senior season and six months into his switch to defense.
Expected 2013 Role -- Deering projects to start at one of the two safety spots for Rutgers in the 2013 season. Losing three safeties to graduation in the offseason, Rutgers and new defensive coordinator Dave Cohen look to rebuild depth and Deering provides a veteran presence with three years of on-field experience. A swap to defense was the best opportunity to keep Deering on the field with emergences of other wide receivers and his struggles as a running back under previous offensive schemes.
Scouting Report -- As a wildcat quarterback and former running back, Deering is used to taking a beating, so the move to defense was not as abrupt as it could have been. Deering has willingness to hit and is explosive when closing to the outside. At 6-foot-2, Deering has the frame and athleticism to make plays in coverage and press at the line of scrimmage against the run.
The biggest concern for Deering is his quickness in learning the finer points of safety. Rutgers has minimal veteran presences to help him along and just three months to lock down the playbook before kickoff. Deering has a history of injuries, making durability a concern on the defensive side of the ball.
The Bottom Line -- Deering is an NFL athlete without a natural position. A born playmaker, Deering's senior year has him in a role where he can see the field often and make impact plays.