AUBURN, Ala. — Coming into his Auburn official visit, Luke Deal had questions.
He got his answers.
The Greenwood, S.C., tight end knows what the usage of that position group — or lack thereof — has been the last few football seasons. He understood coming into the visit some of the personnel shortcomings the Tigers have had at the positions in recent years.
But according to Deal, any and all concerns were put to rest through some film sessions with the coaching staff. Wisely, Auburn pulled up some tape of the late great Philip Lutzenkirchen.
“I got video proof and everything, which was more than I expected. They showed me the tight ends they’ve had in the past with Lutz and other guys that have been productive in that spot and the different spots they’ve used them,” Deal said after his official visit. “It was pretty reassuring, and that really was what I was looking for.”
Deal’s official visit to Auburn was his second trip this spring — both times with the whole family.
It also marked his fifth official visit overall with trips to N.C. State, Michigan, Ohio State and Notre Dame already ini the books.
With Auburn, the official visit gave Deal another opportunity to measure the Plains environment to other schools he’s been to. As is often the case with recruits, Deal dropped the word “family” on multiple occasions to describe the feeling he gets hanging out with Tigers players and coaches.
Tight ends coach Larry Porter, especially, exemplifies that.
“He’s a family man. He’s the type of guy who will do anything for his players. He treats his players like he treats his family. I spent a lot of time with his family too, and they’re a reflection of him,” Deal said. “This visit was really just going in-depth with the culture and atmosphere here. It seems like a great place. It’s a great big family, which is hard to find at this level of college football.”
Deal had an important 2019 prospect hang out with him on his visit.
That’s quarterback Bo Nix.
Nix spent a lot of time with Deal on Saturday. It wasn’t the first time the two were around one another for football purposes, though that wasn’t something the tandem connected until their on-campus encounter.
“He never really thought that he met me, but actually when I was a freshman, we went to a camp together. I was a QB, and I actually threw with him. I didn’t know he was going to blow up the way that he did, and he didn’t know me very much,” Deal said. “But he’s a great dude. You can tell he wants to win, wants to win early and believes in this football program.”
Deal confirmed he’ll be ready to make his decision on May 25, which has been his commitment date for a while. He expects Auburn will be the last visit he takes before that announcement. Deal said his May 25 pick will be final. He’ll shut everything down until he enrolls early in January.