HOUSTON — Austin Deculus has a major announcement coming up.
But first, he had to celebrate his 17th birthday.
The timing worked out well, particularly for LSU, because Les Miles provided a present that only the Mad Hatter could.
On Deculus’ birthday, he received an unusual phone call from a familiar source.
It was Miles on Line 1, ready to flaunt his underrated vocal chords.
“It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago, and the whole LSU coaching staff, including Les Miles, called to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me,” Deculus told SEC Country on Sunday at Nike’s “The Opening” regional camp in Houston.
“He’s pretty good. I’m not going to lie. He was better than expected, of course.”
Miles may not have a future career in music, but his tune may have carried more weight than he originally expected.
Deculus, the nation’s No. 12 offensive tackle, is set to choose from LSU, Alabama and Michigan on May 20.
Each of those schools, as well as other national college football powerhouses, has tried to make pleas to the 6-foot-6, 323-pounder out of Cypress, Texas, in recent weeks. He is also the No. 8 player in Texas and a top-75 player overall nationally.
The problem is that Deculus’ mind is already made up.
“I mean, they’re trying to hammer in a little bit and change my mind and stuff,” Deculus said, with an inauspicious grin on his face.
“There have been a couple of new schools coming in, but overall, I don’t think it’s going to change anything.”
The four-star tackle’s mind is apparently made up, but Deculus still has plans to visit LSU one last time before making his decision public next month.
Deculus will make his fourth trip to Baton Rouge, La., this coming weekend just to familiarize himself with the campus one last time before making his announcement.
“It’s an unofficial visit, but it’s going to be fun,” Deculus said. “I’ve seen LSU. I’ve seen a lot.”
Deculus has seen a lot, and that includes LSU’s offensive lines of past and present — and perhaps future, too.
The Cy-Fair High School (Cypress, Texas) product believes he’s a natural fit on the Tigers’ offensive line, as his team runs a similar style of offense to that of LSU.
In fact, Deculus believes there’s a certain type of lineman who can thrive at LSU, and he just happens to fill the bill.
“It’s how I fit in,” he explained. “I play with an aggression, so I’d fit in perfectly. The offense my school runs — it’s relatively close to LSU with that power. So basically, I’m already more accustomed than some people are that are coming in. I get nasty with it.”
Some of the great LSU linemen who have come and gone in recent years play a major role in Deculus’ interest in the SEC West power.
One common thread is offensive line coach Jeff Grimes.
The mammoth-sized Texan believes Grimes could elevate his game to the next level, too, which is why the Tigers are considered to be one of the heavy favorites when Deculus makes his pledge in a few short weeks.
“I want to be able to create another dynasty (at LSU), like how they were a couple of years ago,” Deculus said. “Coach Grimes can help me. He has all of the tools and he knows how to coach you to get to the next level.”
All rankings are from the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted