The last time Deon Mix visited Auburn was just prior to National Signing Day. Days after his official visit, on Feb. 6, Mix committed and signed with Auburn over Mississippi State to the surprise of many.
Mix, a four-star prospect, was a former Bulldogs' commitment that spurned the in-state pressure. That's a rarity for a prospect from Batsville, Miss.
"A lot of people were surprised, no state players leave the state because they're scared, if you ask me," Mix said. "I'm the type of guy that's self-driven. If I feel something, I'm going to do it, I felt like Auburn was where I needed to be. I prayed about it and Auburn was where I needed to be."
The 6-foot-4, now 330-pound offensive guard/center prospect returned to the Plains last Saturday for a memorable A-Day and a record spring game crowd of over 83,000 fans.
Mix felt "at home".
"It's a family vibe, the people are great over here," said Mix. "I wasn't expecting that big of a crowd. I've never been to a spring game with that big of a crowd. Shon Coleman looked good, (Jordan) Diamond looked good, the offense was similar to ours. When I get here it will be something to look forward to."
Mix and Tigers' offensive line coach J.B. Grimes hit it off during his late-January visit to Auburn and their relationship continued to grow this past weekend.
"Me and Coach Grimes have gotten so tight," said Mix. "He's such a hard-nosed coach, he's the coach I look forward to, we have a great bond."
Mix will report to Auburn on May 14, actually skipping his graduation ceremony in the process. Grimes and Auburn recruited Mix to play either the guard or center position, and Grimes has described Mix as a dedicated, goal oriented player.
Mix confirms that personality assessment.
"I'm excited to get here, get started and show everybody what I can do. My goals are to come in and give my all. I want to play, but I'm going to give my all and whoever plays will get better because I will push them," Mix said.
In the next month, Mix has one goal: lose 20 pounds and check in at 310-pounds by the time he reports. The workout plan calls for running, lots of running. The Mississippi heat can be unforgiving as summer approaches, but that won't deter Mix.
"At my school, we run with no water, so it'll be nothing. I'll get out there and run. I'll make it," Mix said. "I'm the type of guy that if I say I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it. I put pressure on myself, that's to make myself better."