Touchdown Jesus has scored again.
The famed image on the iconic Notre Dame campus has reeled in another one of South Florida’s top high school football recruits.
Michael Deeb is going to South Bend.
“You get on the campus and it’s basically like a theme park. You’re just like 'wow,'” gushes the American Heritage linebacker. “You see the golden dome. It’s like something out of a movie. It’s just really like something I’ve never seen before.”
Deeb will see plenty more of it in the fall. He’ll be signing a football scholarship with the Fighting Irish next Wednesday on National Signing Day. The senior is choosing the BCS Runners-up over nearly a dozen of other offers.
“Spiritually, athletically, academically, it’s unmatched by any program across the nation really,” says the 6’2”, 235-pounder. “Their business school was ranked number one last year. And I want to study business, so I think it fit well off and on the field for me.”
That’s an appropriate choice for the Plantation resident who isn’t all that interested in the distractions high school life provides.
“I put together a schedule. And when I have a schedule I like to follow it,” Deeb says. “I like to stay focused on whatever task I’m doing and I don’t like leaving things incomplete whether it’s in the classroom or whether it’s on the field.”
That focus includes a week stuffed with weightlifting, speed training, sledge hammering tires and punching the heavy bag wrapped up with beach workouts on the weekend. That combined with maintaining a 3.8 GPA, leaves little time for being a kid.
“If I have to miss fun time with the friends while they go out to a movie I have to get another workout in, or I have to finish a project, it’s a sacrifice that I have to make because I have goals that I want to meet,” Deeb acknowledges.
Ranked 36th among inside linebackers in the country, Deeb followed up a 90-tackle, 5-interception junior season with a 95 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 blocked field goals and an interception as a senior.
That caught the eye of Notre Dame’s head coach Brian Kelly and changed the complexion of Deeb’s future.
“Last year, the offers starting coming a little bit, so I’m excited because these schools actually want me to come there,” says Deeb. “Then an offer from Notre Dame comes and you’re just like, ‘wow.’ I think it means a lot in their tradition of excellence. They’re always going to be a top school and you can use it as a vehicle to set you up to do so many great things in life.”
So with offer in hand and pen-to-paper just a few days away, Deeb can fine-tune. He’s tackled a new challenge recently.
“Hot yoga,” Deeb admits. “I tried it out. Ever since then, I’ve been addicted to it because it’s just what I need for my recovery and to help my flexibility and body control.”
Of course, he’s one of the largest budding yogis you’ll come across.
“It’s something that most of the time you won’t see a big guy doing, but I think it’s really an advantage being able to control your body when you’re in an uncomfortable position.”
But while his body may be in downward dog, his focus is only upward.
“I’m going to sign that letter and go to Notre Dame. My next goal is to get in there and get on the field and attack my studies,” Deeb says. “I stay focused on goals and if they’re not accomplished, I’m going to keep going after them until I can achieve them.”
He also may be attacking the mall. Winters in South Bend are a far cry from hot yoga classes.
“Jackets. Heavy blankets,” Deeb jokes. “Maybe a snuggy.”