As a life-long Clemson fan, TE Luke Deal of Emerald has made dozens of visits to Death Valley for games. On those trips, he enjoyed the experience that any fan would. Now, his visits to Clemson take on another meaning since he’s a heavily recruited prospect. His most recent visit with the Tigers was a two day, unofficial stay last Thursday and Friday.
“We got a full visit, it was really good because we got a tour of everything,” Deal said. “This time my mom came and we got to tour academics, tour campus and apartments that the freshmen live in. We talked to Coach Pearman and Coach Swinney and that was real cool. And I stayed the night with Garrick Williams and Cannon Smith. It was a really good visit. You can tell Coach Swinney has built it from the ground up and it was really cool to see. To get to see it from the inside and see how it’s structured, and how really everybody is all about it, is really cool because they’ve got it rolling and you can tell they’ve done it the right way.”
Deal also has taken an unofficial visit to Auburn. This weekend he will take an official visit to NC State. He will go officially to Michigan April 14th and the officially to Notre Dame on the 16th. He’s also working on an official visit to Ohio State on the 20th. He might return to Auburn and to Clemson before he announces on May 25th, the last day of his spring practice.
Swinney, knowing he had someone with strong Clemson feelings on campus last week could have pushed for a commitment and a shutdown in recruiting, but Deal said he never went there.
“They said, ‘Man, at the end of the day, you’ve got a bunch of good options. Clemson wants you because we have a tremendous need and you can fill it by being a versatile player.’ Honestly, they were telling me I need to go check every place out and see which one is the place for me. They think I can fit in with the players they’ve build their program around which is hard-nosed, tough players. Like they’re saying, the best is the standard. I’m a real competitive guy and it seems like it would be a good fit but I want to make sure. That’s why I’m going on all these visits.”
Deal said even with Clemson looming large in his background, he doesn’t have a favorite. He also knows people around him don’t believe that.
“Living in Greenwood, everybody is like, you’re going to go to Clemson. At the end of the day, I don’t mind if I have to travel to find a place that fits me the best. That’s why I’m ready to hit all these northern visits. They could be my place, I don’t know. Clemson is a great place. There are a lot of places in the South that I really love, but at the end of the day I’ll make the decision.”
Deal said his parents will join him on his upcoming visits.