WVU One of Many Interested in Florida Backer Michael Deeb - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU One of Many Interested in Florida Backer Michael Deeb

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MORGANTOWN -

Robert Gillespie went to south Florida in search of a big inside linebacker to fill one of two positions on West Virginia's defense in 2013.

The player he found at American Heritage Plantation is even bigger than he expected.

"He came and watched practice the other day and he said he was actually a little surprised by my size. He said I look big on film but he didn't expect me to be as big as I am in person," junior linebacker Michael Deeb said after meeting the WVU running backs coach.

Deeb is a 6-foot-2, 235-pound athlete out of Plantation, Fla. who Rivals.com ranks as the 23rd best linebacker in the nation. He has a growing list of offers that shows no signs of slowing anytime soon.

On Tuesday, he picked up offer No. 18 from Central Florida and had planned phone calls with Texas A&M, Connecticut and Northwestern, all of whom he was hoping would offer.

Deeb admits that the process can be a bit overwhelming, especially with the added stresses of spring football and his spring semester of school. He knows that not everyone is afforded this sort of experience, though, and his intention is to soak it all in rather than let it become a burden.

"It's a blessing anytime a coach will say to you, ‘We're going to offer you a scholarship and you're going to be able to attend our university for free,'" says Deeb. "That's an honor and something that I really appreciate for all my hard work."

Still, the more schools who extend offers, the tougher the decision ultimately becomes. Where does he even begin with narrowing down that list to a Top 10 or a Top 5?

One factor he says does not come into play is where the school is located, but there are plenty of other reasons why he may choose one school over another.

"I'll have to look at the depth chart, see what kind of defense they run, how I would fit and if I could make a great impact on that team," says Deeb. "On top of that, the academic part of it is important because I want to surround myself with a team full of guys who I can play with and get along with on the field but also off the field and in the classroom."

Deeb has yet to make any unofficial visits to campuses, but he has attended a couple junior days. His hope is to begin narrowing down his options once his spring practices have concluded so he can set up official visits for the fall.

In talks with Gillespie, Deeb believes he is developing a relationship with a coach who would help guide him along the way, should he wind up choosing WVU over all his other possible destinations.

"He seems like a really laid back, nice guy who's really personable," Deeb says of Gillespie. "On top of that, the few times I've talked to him, his kids have been chattering in the background and he seems like a family guy. That's what I put first is my family, so he's been a really nice guy and someone I can get along with."

As far as the football aspect of the equation, Deeb feels based on talks with Gillespie that he would have a chance to make an early impact for the Mountaineers if he worked hard enough and showed himself worthy of a place on the field.

He likes the way Gillespie says West Virginia would utilize not only his talents, but also his leadership ability.

"The way they talk about using me would be playing downhill as that inside backer and just stuffing the run game, filling the holes, but also getting out in pass coverage," says Deeb. "I'd really be running the show as in making the calls, setting guys up, knowing the whole defense inside and out and being the defensive coach on the field. That's where I see myself right now with my high school team."

And for now, his high school team is what really matters.

Deeb is hopeful that before he starts a new chapter in collegiate football, he can close out his prep career with a state championship, something his team has never achieved.

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