Real Deal: Top South Carolina tight end prospect sets spring schedule


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Deal poses with Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney
Deal poses with Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney

Clemson has one spot remaining for a tight end in the 2019 recruiting cycle, but Luke Deal isn’t in a hurry to make a decision.

The 6-5, 235-pounder out of Greenwood (SC) Emerald grew up a Clemson fan and made several trips to Clemson for games growing up. Two weeks ago, he made the short trip from Greenwood to Clemson for a two-day official visit.

"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 (Danny) Pearman and Coach (Dabo) Swinney and that was really cool. And I stayed the night with Garrett 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."

Clemson isn’t the only visit for Deal. He has taken an unofficial visit to Auburn, and this weekend he will take an official visit to NC State. He will go officially to Michigan April 14th and then 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 high school’s spring practice.

The Tigers already have commitment from 2019 tight end prospect Jaelyn Lay and plan to take one more this recruiting cycle, but the coaches didn’t press Deal to make a decision. They want him to take his time and make the right choice.

"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,” Deal said. “They think I can fit in with the players they've built their program around which is hard-nosed, tough players. Like they're saying, the best is the standard. I'm a really 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."

At this point, he said he doesn’t have a favorite.

"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,” he said. “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."

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