football Edit

Deal's day has come


Luke Deal will end his recruitment on Friday.

The three-star tight end from Greenwood, S.C. will announce his commitment between 5:30-6:30 p.m. CT with his finalists being Auburn, Notre Dame, Clemson, Ohio State, Michigan and N.C. State.

“Once I commit, I’m done,” Deal said. "My recruitment will be shut off.”

Deal will reveal his decision during a private gathering for his teammates, family and fellow church members.

"I’m going to have my whole football team over, a couple of staff members and a lot of church members and family,” Deal said. “It’s going to be a good time. We’re going to eat and have the big reveal.”

Deal is making his decision after taking all five official visits in the spring, one each to Auburn, Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State and N.C. State. He also took numerous unofficial visits to Clemson.

Deal visited Auburn twice during the spring, including his official visit April 27-29.

“Auburn has a real family feel all around campus,” Deal said. “I love coach (Gus) Malzahn and their staff. It’s a real comfortable environment and about family.”

Auburn offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey and tight ends coach Larry Porter visited Deal on Wednesday. The Tigers have prioritized Deal hoping to add him to the 2019 commitment list that already includes tight end Tyler Fromm.

“Coach Porter is a family man,” Deal said. “He’s the type of guy who would do anything for his players. He treats his players like he treats his family.”

Coaches from N.C. State visited Deal on Monday.

“The first to ever offer me,” Deal said of the Wolfpack. “They’re extremely loyal and extremely real. Their recruiting is not really recruiting, it’s relationships.”

Notre Dame and Ohio State both visited on Tuesday and coaches from Michigan visited on Thursday.

“(Notre Dame’s) tradition, it’s unreal,” Deal said. “It drops your jaw, honestly. And they use the heck of out of their tight ends. I love coach (Chip) Long, too. He’s the man.

“(Michigan’s) tradition is great, too. Coach (Jim) Harbaugh is different, and I love that about him. He’s comfortable in his own shoes, and so is the whole staff.

“(Ohio State coach) Urban Meyer is a brilliant dude. He’s the most competitive coach I’ve been around. He believes in faith, football and family – and nothing else. But that whole program is real cool."

Clemson already had used its two allotted visits before this week, but spoke to Deal on the phone.

“Coach (Dabo) Swinney, he’s incredible,” Deal said. “I take my faith very seriously, and for a guy to express his like that in a business such as this, it’s remarkable. The way he captivates his team – we went to a practice one day and he sat there and talked to them for 45 minutes afterward. Dudes were tired, hot. Nobody took their eyes off him. That speaks measures. It’s Clemson. They have a chance to win the national title every year."

Deal will reveal his decision on Twitter.

"I’m feeling pretty good right now,” Deal said. “Things were stressful there for a little bit, but Friday’s a big day."

Rivals ranks Deal, who is scheduled to graduate in December, the No. 24 tight end in the class and No. 6 overall recruit in South Carolina.

TigerIllustrated's Paul Strelow contributed.