Lubbock, Tex.--A five-star defensive tackle who has spent the last two seasons at Texas Tech, Breiden Fehoko is closing in on his transfer destination with plans of possibly making his choice on Monday. Right now he says he is only certain of what conference he will be playing in, and that’s the SEC with Auburn, Georgia, LSU and Ole Miss his final four schools.
“I have it planned for Monday, but as of now I can’t guarantee I’ll have somebody by Monday because it’s so tough,” Fehoko said of a decision that he admits could possibly push into Tuesday. “With schools like Auburn, LSU and Georgia it has been real tough because each school kind of has their own little niche on what they’re good at. It has been tough with Ole Miss in there as well. I’m just really trying to make sure I make the best decision ultimately.”
His first official visit, Auburn is a school that has remained on Fehoko’s list even after trips to LSU and Georgia. With Rodney Garner, AU's defensive line coach, making a strong impression and the program putting its best foot forward he said the Tigers have a lot going for them.
“Coach Garner, I developed a great relationship with him as well as Coach (Kevin) Steele,” Fehoko said. “Just the fit there was big for me. Really, I think the biggest thing that kept them around, being my first visit it really set the tone. It’s really hard to be the first visit for a prospect because you really never know what the expectations are, you never know how things are going to measure out.
“They really set the tone at a high level,” he added. “They made the fit of where I should be and how I would help Auburn and Auburn would help me. Ultimately that’s why I’ve kept them around and the relationship with Coach Garner. Every week he calls and checks in on me as well as Coach Steele. That’s one thing that really sets them (apart) with me.”
Making his next visit to see the LSU Tigers and Coach Ed Orgeron, Fehoko that he felt like the emphasis on the defensive line in the program was something that could be big for him.
“What I like about LSU is the development I’m going to get,” he said. “Coach Pete Jenkins, one of the most legendary D-Line coaches out there, you talk about a guy in his free time that goes out of his way to coach pro guys and other coaches. Just the fact that if I did go to LSU I could get that type of development on a day-to-day basis is huge with me.
“Also the fact that Coach Orgeron as a head coach is a D-Line coach by trade,” he added. “Having two D-Line coaches in the meeting room every day makes it more of a hands-on approach. Even though I know I’m going to be redshirting this year and I won’t be playing I know I’m going to get the hands-on development at LSU. Also Coach (Dave) Aranda is one of the best defensive coordinators in the game.”
Another school known for producing defensive linemen, Georgia has a new position coach in Tray Scott and that’s a big plus in the Bulldogs’ favor because of their history said Fehoko.
“Being a disciple of Coach Pete Jenkins at LSU, Coach Scott is really a younger version of him,” Fehoko said. “When you talk about learning and technique and development he’s one guy that marks off all the checks across the board. I really like his hands-on approach.
“Also Coach (Kirby) Smart is a defensive coach by trade being a defensive coordinator at Alabama. They know what I bring to the table and I know what Georgia brings to the table as far as development. I’ve had a close relationship with Coach Scott since he was the first coach to in-home visit me after I got my release from Texas Tech. I have that close relationship with him as well.”
While Ole Miss didn’t get a visit from him, Fehoko said the Rebels are definitely still in the picture because of Coach Hugh Freeze.
“I’m not going to count Ole Miss out because those guys down there are great guys” he said. “A great bunch of coaches. Coach Freeze is such a great dude.”
With his final four colleges all showing him plenty of reasons to pick them, Fehoko said it’s not going to be an easy choice in the end.
“I think the biggest thing for me is going to come down to depth,” Fehoko said. “How many guys graduate and how many guys return? How many snaps the guys that are returning have taken. I’m not afraid to compete, but at the same time I’m not going to put myself in a position where you have three of the four starters returning and that fourth position is defensive end.
“For me I have to look at what’s going to best suit me being a redshirt this year. How much attention to detail I’m going to get is important. It’s a big year for me, like I’ve told everyone. It’s an investment year. I’m not looking to just play scout team, I’m looking to get stronger, get faster, get smarter. Ultimately all of those things are going to play into my decision.”