SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Flint Southwestern Academy four-star defensive lineman Deron Irving-Bey committed to Michigan for the class of 2017 in December because he said he wanted to play for a staff that would develop him into a player who could play in the NFL someday.
Last week, Irving-Bey got his first real taste of what elite coaching can do as he spent five days in San Antonio preparing for the Army All-American Bowl that was played last Saturday afternoon.
“Just being out here has been big for me,” Irving-Bey told Wolverine247 last week. “I never really learned these technique at my school so coming here is like a new experience. Focusing on technique is something I need to get better at. I feel like if I do get better at that, the sky is the limit for me.”
Southwestern coach Chane Clingman, who has seen Irving-Bey’s development on and off the field, says the Wolverines are getting a special player.
“He’s a kid that’s got his best football ahead of him,” Clingman said. “So they’re going to get a kid they’re going to work with and train and he’s going to blossom into an even bigger, stronger, faster kid than he is now. At the end of the day, you’re going to get a humble kid. A kid that’s extremely coachable. And a kid that’s looking forward to playing football at a collegiate level.”
Greg Mattison, who was the primary recruiter for Irving-Bey, views him as a player who will likely play the three-technique spot up front, but could slide outside depending on the defensive package.
Mattison told Irving-Bey when he recruited him that they would turn him into a great player. Coming from a program that has struggled throughout his career – Southwestern was 0-9 in 2016 — Irving-Bey says his high school experience has molded him into someone who is ready to succeed.
“I’ve learned to be humble,” Irving-Bey said. “Throughout all my career at Flint Southwestern, we’ve had bad seasons with the losing and all that. But it builds something within you, in my opinion. It builds something a lot of people don’t have that I think that I have. I’ve learned to be humble. I’ve learned that I am hungrier than anybody to win. I know we can do that at Michigan.”