"I had offers from Syracuse and Kansas, but they were a little bit farther off in terms of the distance between there and my home. Great schools. I looked at how I felt about the schools and the distance to my house. Once I went on my visit, I ultimately decided on Duke."
The 6-3, 225-pound signee made several visits to Duke since last spring, including summer workouts, the Duke/Virginia basketball game, and his official visit.
"My official was definitely my favorite visit," Helton said. "I stayed with (linebacker) Kelby Brown, and got to see what its like to be a player there. I got to meet the players, and they all seemed really great."
Helton also got the chance to spend time with some other players in his recruiting class.
The defensive player is in most frequent contact with Coaches Collins and particularly Cutcliffe, who gave him some advice which he'd previously shared with the Colts QB Peyton Manning.
"We talked about so much," Helton said. "One story Cutcliffe told me was when Peyton Manning came up to him and asked what you have to do to be a good leader. He told Peyton you have to work hard, prepare well, and win. I felt like once I heard him say that, it kind of motivated me in how to be a leader. It's a straightforward way of saying it."
Helton shared the motivation he's taken from the coach's advice.
"Going in as an inside linebacker, my best skill set is being able to bring size to the defense at the linebacker position, my general vision, and being able to see the field and react well.
"I'll need to start looking like a D1 player, grow in size, and see how to fit in with those big linemen."