Jeremy Deering is both smooth and elusive on the football field.
Off it, he isn't much different, at least when it comes to talking about his recruitment.
A 6-foot-2, 202-pound athlete, the Leto star is a wanted man.
But getting a read on who he might be leaning toward with only two months and change until national signing day is as difficult as bringing him down in the open field.
"I really don't have a favorite," Deering said Saturday.
Several teams apparently are in the mix.
Deering, who is being recruited by some schools to play running back, some to play receiver and some to play safety, has taken only one official visit (Purdue). He balked at rating that trip, and his reasoning makes sense.
"It was pretty good, but I'm waiting to take all my other visits, then I'll compare them," Deering said.
Who else will get a visit?
Well, so far only one trip is set. Deering will check out Illinois, which is hitting the state of Florida hard, Dec. 11. He's also considering visits to Alabama, North Carolina, Rutgers and USF (he was expected to attend the Bulls' game Saturday). Deering was to visit UNC earlier this month, but those plans changed after he had surgery recently to repair a broken collarbone.
The hometown Bulls definitely have a shot, Deering said.
Other than that, he isn't giving much away. "I'm taking it slow," he said. "I've been doing a lot of thinking."
Patience is nothing new for Deering.
Last offseason, when numerous local players bolted for other schools, Deering chose to stay at Leto, which has traditionally struggled. The Falcons went just 2-7 this fall, and Deering's numbers suffered because of it (though he did average nearly 7 yards per carry), but Deering believes he made the right decision to stick it out.
"Every team is going to have problems," Deering said. "But I'm glad I played my last season with people I know. I'm glad I stayed there."
Deering is looking for four main things in a college, in this order: a program that offers early playing time, has good coaches, players he gets along with and strong academics.
"I don't want to sit," Deering said.
Visit switch: Hillsborough DB Terrence Mitchell, whom Rivals.com ranks as the country's 84th-best prospect, will no longer visit North Carolina and instead will go to Illinois this upcoming weekend. That effectively takes UNC out of consideration and leaves Florida State, Georgia, Illinois, Tennessee and USF in the mix. Terriers coach Earl Garcia said FSU and USF are "neck and neck" but Illinois, where former Hillsborough star Jarred Fayson plays, has a shot.
"It depends on how hard it snows (on his visit)," Garcia joked.
GOOD REVIEWS: Rivals.com recruiting analyst Jamie Newberg attended Tarpon Springs' 35-28 win Friday over Gainesville and was impressed by the play of senior RB Adrian Golden and junior DT Brodrick Lee. There is little doubt, he said, Golden is among the state's top running backs.
Have an athlete, in any sport, who should be featured in our weekly recruiting notebook? E-mail Keith Niebuhr at [email protected]