April 22, 2013

Middleton has UNC on his radar

Winston-Salem (NC) Parkland 2014 defensive tackle Deshaywn Middleton is a three-star recruit garnering interest from several in-state programs.

"Right now I've only got eight offers from Wake Forest, Duke, N.C. State, Old Dominion, Appalachian State, The Citadel and Elon," said Middleton.

Middleton took part in the The Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour at Mallard Creek High School on April 14 and caught up with Tar Heels Illustrated before the event to talk about the current state of his recruiting process.

While the North Carolina Tar Heels haven't yet offered the big man, both parties are mutually on each other's radar.

"UNC, no (they haven't offered), but they said that their supposed to be coming by the school to talk to my coach this week so I mean, hey, I guess we'll find out this week," said Middleton. "My thoughts about UNC are that it's a great place. Everybody comes and talks to me about it."

"I've only gotten to visit there one time when they played Georgia Tech so I didn't really have a chance to sit down with the coaches or meet the school but I've had some family members and some friends that have gone there and they say it's great out there so I'm ready to go out there, take some visits and see how it is."

Middleton could be on UNC's campus in the not-so-distant future.

"I definitely have some plans to visit them (UNC). I know not next week, but the week after, hopefully I'll be able to get up to Carolina and probably during the week me and my coach can go up there and take a visit but I do plan on taking that visit," said Middleton.

Middleton also plans to visit Tennessee and Vanderbilt over the summer.

While football is the immediate focus, Middleton has a clear vision for how he wants his future to unfold once the games on the gridiron end. That vision will play a major part in which school he ultimately winds up with.

"Basically how I can become a better man and a better person and also what they can do for me, if they have my major, if my family is comfortable with that school too," said Middleton. "Basically it's about being a pediatrician and getting to medical school, so if they have that, if they have a great medical program, I'm definitely going to consider them."

Middleton has spent time on a number of campuses in the past and each one has made an impression. However, at this time, he's looking to keep everything on the table until he's gathered all the information he can to make his final decision.

"Right now, I've recently been talking to Tennessee and Vanderbilt, they've been showing high interest. Georgia Tech, I took a visit down there. I went to Duke on Friday. It was a great experience down there. I actually got to talk to the coaches and got to meet one-on-one," said Middleton. "I've been up to North Carolina State many times. Right now their kind of in the lead but as times go on things start to open up. I'm keeping all my options open right now."

A lot of high school players end up switching positions once they reach the collegiate level. But as of now, Middleton says the coaches he's spoken with believe he can play his current position once he steps on campus.

"Basically, they see me as fitting in as a nose guard. In the middle, they need a big guy to just get in there and fire it up, blow the hole up. That's basically what coaches have been talking about recently. What they mostly like is the way I use my hands and my speed in the middle," said Middleton.

But that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement, something Middleton acknowledges and is working hard at every day.

"I'm working on my conditioning. Getting better, getting faster and using my hands. As a lineman, that's all you've got is your hands so I'm just focused on using my hands right now," said Middleton.

He's also set a timetable for when he'd like to make his commitment.

"I definitely want to narrow down my list before the football season so I can focus on my senior year. Afterwards I'm taking all my officials (visits). I'm going to make my choice after all of them and definitely before signing day."

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