TE Luke Deal of Emerald used April as his visitation month. He is using May as his decision month. He has official visits to NC State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Auburn and unofficial visits to Clemson as his reference points as he targets May 25th for his announcement.
“All of them are different in their own way and I think that’s why I enjoyed all of them,” Deal said. “I grew up knowing a couple of schools here and there. I’ve been to Clemson a lot of times and I love Clemson and they have an unbelievable program. To go out and see other programs and be able to compare apple to apples was pretty cool because I didn’t really realize how different they actually were. I had a good time at all of them.”
Many folks close to Deal have assumed Clemson as a lock for him. He is an admitted life-long Clemson fan. And Clemson may be the ultimate choice, but not until he gives the others their due in his process.
“Being able to compare, I appreciated that,” he said. “I knew about all these programs before but to go out and be able to compare to one of the best, if not the best, program in college football in my backyard, just going out to be able to compare to other really, really good college football programs. That’s the good thing to me and I like all of them but this is the month I get to really settle down and make a decision.”
Deal said he’s been in touch with Clemson recruiter Danny Pearman, and Pearman was by his school to check in on him thru his coach. Emerald started spring practice Tuesday and NC State and Ohio State have been in. Auburn is due in Friday and Michigan and Notre Dame are coming later in the month. He said he does not have any plans for a return trip to Clemson and all the schools remain under consideration.
“Coming fresh off these visits, now is the time I’m going to begin find which ones need to be eliminated and which ones are going to stay for me. I haven’t started that process yet. That’s going to be my main objective now,” Deal said. “I want a family atmosphere that has big time football. That’s what I’ve wanted for a long time. Getting to go see these different programs and seeing which ones have that and which ones don’t was big for me. Faith, family, football, that’s a big thing for me. I just want to be developed in every aspect and I want to go out and win a championship.”
And as he moves into what he hopes is the final weeks of the process, Deal said he does so with a clear and open mind.
“I don’t look at it as, I’m more confused. I haven’t singled out any schools that I’m more clear about. I’m not really confused because I’ve not really started the process of elimination yet.”
Deal added that he’s not married to May 25th for a decision, that if he’s not ready, he will extend the process.