Reviewing the Redshirts is an off-season series meant to resurrect discussion around the current Irish freshmen who did not play in 2013.
There were 12 this year who retained a year of eligibility and today we take a look at a picture perfect middle linebacker who is looking to play a lot of minutes this fall.
LB, Michael Deeb
Hometown: Plantation, Florida
247Sports COMPOSITE RANKING:
3-star, No. 28 ILB, No. 64 FL, No. 437 USA, 0.8737 score
Need at Position: High
Expected Spot on the 2014 Depth Chart: Possible Starter
I'm real excited to see what Deeb brings to the table this fall. Here's what I wrote about him shortly after National Signing Day last February:
Deeb's foot speed improved and that was my biggest knock on him last year. Overall he's much faster and will be a great fit at middle linebacker for the Irish. Best of all, this kid seems like a tireless worker who puts everything in to the game. I love having that from a recruit that we know is going to play middle linebacker. Height might be a little concerning but Deeb is a major steal.
We've been looking at prospects and kids who sign with Notre Dame in depth for a few years now and I don't think I've ever seen a recruit improve from junior to senior seasons like Deeb did. This may be controversial, but I think Deeb's film as a senior is even better than Nyles Morgan's, and I'm still shocked how small of a bump Deeb received in the recruiting rankings during his final year of high school.
If I had to guess if Deeb is a starter next year, I would put very favorable odds on it. Jarrett Grace is going to be nursing a broken leg well into the summer, so the spring will see some combination of Deeb/Moore/Schmidt and I wouldn't be surprised if Deeb comes out of that group as the favored player.
If Deeb comes out of the spring in such a position he's likely to be a game one starter.
Everyone knows my worry by now. I hope he doesn't show up at 252 pounds and instead of all that explosiveness we saw at American Heritage, his change of direction is labored and mechanical. If the numbers are to be believed he was about 10 pounds heavier last fall than he was as a high school senior. His listed weight of 242 should be good enough.
Both Dan Fox and Carlo Calabrese played considerable minutes as redshirt freshmen and I don't see how Deeb plays any less than those guys. I see a little bit of Fox's game in Deeb but I think Deeb has much more potential. I know it can be difficult for some people to accept such glowing reports on someone who is "just a 3-star recruit" but look at this kid's film. For what Notre Dame is looking at for middle linebacker, he's pretty much the whole package.