By Dave Morrison
Bluefield rising senior quarterback Carson Deeb had a postseason to remember last fall, leading the Beavers to a third straight state championship game appearance.
In his first year as a starter Deeb set the postseason afire. In four playoff games, Deeb completed 63 of 88 passes for 940 yards and 12 touchdowns with just one interception. That’s a completion percentage of 71.6 percent.
Hard to believe that just four months earlier, Deeb wasn’t sure he would even be the starter.
Coming into preseason camp in August, Deeb was battling two transfers, Tazewell’s Jamir Blevins (who would later transfer to Graham, Va.) and James Monroe’s Ryker Brown.
Deeb won the game and the rest is history. Deeb is now one of the top returning signalcallers in the state.
Deeb ended the season completing 177 of 265 passes for 2,835 yards and 32 touchdowns. He threw just seven interceptions.
“I was kind of surprised but not totally,” Deeb said. “I expected to go out and do a good job but to have those numbers, I don’t think I expected it.”
The quarterback said he wasn’t sure what he dod to eventually earn the job.
“I think all three of us were good quarterbacks and could do some different things,” Deeb said. “I had been here in the program (he was the primary backup to Chandler Cooper, now at Concord University). I just went out and tried to play as well as I could.”
It turned out to be more than good.
Hard to believe the 6-foot, 195-pound Deeb started his career as a center.
“I had a hard time keeping my weight down back then,” Deeb said. “I always had a pretty strong arm, but I was always just a little to heavy to play back there.”
He has been under center since fifth grade. Bluefield is happy about that.
Along with the running of J.J Davis (1,923 yards, 26 TDs), Deeb and a corps of receivers helped lead a Bluefield offense that averaged 380 yards and 41.6 points per game. Bluefield scored over 40 points in 11 games. The Beavers scored 14 each its two losses (20-14 to Lord Botetourt, Va. and 21-14 in a state championship loss to Bridgeport).
Davis and other fine senior leaders like Sean Martin (WVU), Jahiem House (Glenville) and Kaulin Parris (WVU) have moved on with other seniors.
But the cupboard is hardly bear at Bluefield.
Deeb noted that three of his top receivers – Brandon Wiley, Jacorian Green and Juwan Green – return, as well as the return of a healthy Isaiah Johnson, a junior who is receiving interest from dozens of D-1 schools and Ryker Brown, a versatile athlete who can play a multitude of positions.
“I feel like we will be as good a team as we have been in the past, but I’m sure a lot of people will write us off because we did lose a lot of great seniors from last years team,” Deeb said.
Wiley and his quarterback developed a special chemistry in the postseason. In the four-game race to a third championship game, Wiley had 18 receptions for 378 yards and seven touchdowns. Wiley had 40 receptions for 732 yards and 12 touchdowns.
“He really stepped up in the championship game when Juwan (Green) got injured,” Deeb said.
Wiley had four receptions for 150 yards and two scores in that game and had a third TD called back by offensive pass interference. He also had 12 tackles on defense and was named Bluefield’s MVP in the game.
Deeb said he has stayed busy during the pandemic by working out at home.
He recently underwent a minor knee operation and should be back working out in July.
Bluefield opens the season August 28 with its annual backyard brawl with Graham, Va.