Getting an offer from the Tigers while visiting for a junior day last month, Kraeling watched the offensive line closely and said he enjoyed getting to see the Tigers in action and the same is true of position coach J.B. Grimes.
“It was good,” Kraeling said. “I’m just trying to see the way these coaches are performing and how interactive they are with their players and how involved they are actually coaching. It’s kind of good to see that they are more teachers than just yelling and such. What’s important to me that I saw today was that Coach Grimes was heavily involved with his guys.
“He wasn’t just getting onto them because they did something wrong, he was getting onto them because he wants them to get better. That really stood out to me from a lot of other places I have seen.”
Saying that he felt at home while on his fourth visit to Auburn, Kraeling noted that getting to know the coaches even more was big for him because of what he heard on his two-day trip. With the Tigers needing at least a pair of offensive tackles in this upcoming class and possibly three, he said that is something that could become really important in his decision.
“It means a lot to me,” Kraeling said. “It’s not just the fact that they are searching for an offensive tackle, but that they are changing their whole recruiting standpoint. They are trying to recruit character guys and they think I fit that position. That really means a lot to me and only motivates me more to be a better person and try not to let them down.”
Already with offers from Alabama, Boston College, California, North Carolina State, Nebraska, Tennessee, Wake Forest, Penn State and others, Kraeling said adding the offer from Auburn was a big one for him, but in the end it’s all about finding the right fit for him and not about the number of schools interested.
“It was good to get an offer from them, but it’s good to get an offer from anywhere,” Kraeling said. “But, I’m not just searching for offers. I’m trying to find that right school for me and trying to find the right education and trying to fit in with the right kind of people. I just want a good blend of football, academics and moral values. A scholarship is a great way to get that.”
Planning to visit N.C. State, Duke and Boston College next week and hoping to make a decision soon, Kraeling said despite the recent flood of attention he wants to remained focused on the task at hand. That means visiting the colleges that have been there since the beginning and then finding the one that best fits what he’s looking for on and off the field.
“Things are starting to speed up in the recruiting process,” Kraeling said. “A lot of tackles are committing to other schools and that both takes attention away from me and puts more attention on me. I’m going to finish all my visits this next week and probably make a decision the next three or four weeks so I can get that out of the way and focus on being a teenager.”