Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.--When Coach Will Muschamp arrived at Auburn two years ago the one thing he talked about right away was getting more size up front on defense. One player who can help in that continued movement is massive Charles Deas from Milford Academy in New Berlin, N.Y.
A 6-5, 320 defensive tackle originally from Boyd Anderson High in Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., Deas signed with LSU out of high school, but failed to qualify academically. Now close to living out his dream of playing in the SEC with only one semester left at Milford, the Auburn commitment took an official visit to the Plains this weekend and tells Inside The Auburn Tigers that the trip couldn't have been any better.
"It was a great visit," Deas says. "It was a nice experience. I liked getting to see practice. We went on Saturday and it was intense. I loved it. I loved has fast everything was going. I'm really solid with Auburn.
"The practice was the best part for me," he adds. "It was up tempo. I could see how fast the game is. All the coaches are great guys. They just want me to keep my head on so I can get up there and do the best I can."
Hosted by longtime friend and Auburn standout defensive tackle Pat Sims, Deas says that getting a chance to hang out with Sims and check out what the Tigers have in store for him the next four or five years was a good experience.
"It was great to see him again," Deas says. "I haven't been able to hang out with Pat since my 11th grade year. He's one of the players that taught me everything I know. To see him get his head right makes me want to work harder."
The hard work has already started for Deas at Milford this season. Losing a ton of weight to get back into playing shape, Deas used his speed to become a force on defense with 32 tackles and 15 tackles for losses in 10 games. He also added two sacks, one caused fumble and four fumble recoveries. Reporting a 40-yard dash time of 4.8 seconds, he used that speed to score on a 95-yard fumble return this season, but says his biggest accomplishment was working to get back in shape.
"This year went great at prep school," Deas says. "I was at 380 and in the offseason I lost over 50 pounds. Now I'm 320 and that's my playing weight. I felt great this year. I'm in the best shape of my life. I'm playing fast."
Deas will now return to Milford and finish up classes in the spring before moving to Auburn in the summer and joining the Tigers. He says that right now everything is in line for him to do just that.
"One more semester and I'm there," Deas says. "My grades are great. I'll be there in the summer."