“I'm very interested,” Deal said. “It's home, I'm just very interested. I'm not going to say I'm not interested in Maryland, because yes Maryland is a great school as well as other schools.”
Deal said contact between him and Maryland began after he attended Maryland's junior day last year as a sophomore and picked up after he attend Maryland's team camp this summer.
“I started to get in contact with them my first junior day,” Deal said. “I went to University of Maryland's junior day. They kind of had a feel for me. After the team camp they saw what I could and I impressed them from there.”
Maryland has even taken in a Maryland home game this year, watching them defeat Wake Forest on October 6th and came away impressed with the energy of the coaches.
Maryland isn't the only school Deal has visited though. He also took in a UNC game with his team, DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, MD).
“I loved their swagger, their way they get hyped before the game,” Deal said. “The way their coaches showed us their facilities.”
Deal has also been to West Virginia.
Deal also has offers from Tennessee, UMass, and UConn. Those four offers don't mean Deal will stop looking though.
“I just plan on visiting a lot of places just to see and get a feel of where I might like to go, what's the education like, what's the coaches are like,” Deal said.
Deal identifies himself as a future computer science major and says that academics are a huge factor in his decision-making process.
“The school I will be looking at the most is a school with a great educational or academic background,” Deal said.
Deal, who plays both ways for DeMatha, suiting up as a running back and linebacker, is getting looks from colleges for both sides of the ball. However, Deal says Maryland is recruiting him as a running back.
And even though Deal had to split carries with Mark Allen, a fellow class of 2014 recruit and a Penn State commit, he still ended up with 125 carries, 955 yards (good for a 7.64 yards per carry average), and 21 touchdowns
And while DeMatha lost in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) to Good Counsel, Deal proved his toughness. He broke his hand in the semifinals against Gonzaga College High School, but played through the pain, participating in the WCAC final.
“I can say I bring heart because I have a passion,” Deal said. “I could say I have passion. I'm just a passionate player. I work hard. If I'm injured and the team need I have to go back in.”
In terms of colleges, above all Deal is keeping his options open.
When asked for a top five, he listed 17 schools before adding that there were probably more that he had forgotten to mention.
But he claims Maryland's recent move to the Big Ten, effective starting with the 2014-15 school year, which happens to coincide with Deal's freshman season, hasn't had an effect on his thought process regarding colleges.
“It doesn't have an impact on my decision,” Deal said. “The Big Ten is a big league. It's a lot of schools. It's on TV a lot. I think it's a good conference to move to. The ACC was also a great conference. It wouldn't matter in my decision. I'm just going there to play football.”