AUBURN | Tyneil Hopper has a long-standing relationship with Auburn tight ends coach Larry Porter, one that dates back to Porter’s time in the ACC.
It’s a trusting bond between the recruit and coach, and one of the reasons Hopper, who is ranked the No. 9 tight end in the 2018 class, is high on Auburn.
“I’ve known Coach Porter since he was at North Carolina,” Hopper said. “He watched me grow up and become who I am today. As soon as he got (to Auburn), he started recruiting me harder. I really enjoyed that.”
Hopper’s older brother, Tyrone Hopper, is a redshirt freshman linebacker at North Carolina. Tyrone signed with the Tarheels in 2016, a year in which Porter coached UNC’s running backs and special teams. There is history between Porter and the Hopper family.
“I really enjoy talking to him,” Tyneil Hopper said.
Hopper got the opportunity to talk more with Porter on Saturday when he made the trip from Roswell, Ga. to Auburn to watch the Tigers scrimmage. It was Hopper’s second visit of the spring to Auburn.
“Auburn is a great place to be,” Hopper said. “I really like being here. Coach Porter wants wants me to come here.”
So does Hopper’s former quarterback at Roswell, Auburn freshman Malik Willis. Willis enrolled at Auburn in January and is participating in spring practice.
“Malik loves it (at Auburn),” Hopper said. “He says it’s a great place to be, that the people treat you really good and the food is good. He’s just enjoying the campus and enjoying football.”
Hopper is considering joining the quarterback at Auburn. Hopper could play and learn under Porter and catch passes again from Willis.
“They want me to play everything: H-back, tight end and split out wide some,” Hopper said. “That would be a great fit for me because those are things I like to do.”
Auburn has offered Hopper, as have North Carolina, Kentucky, Louisville, Illinois, South Florida and Wake Forest. He doesn’t have any favorites, but expects Auburn to be among them when he does.
“I haven’t decided on certain schools or a top-five or anything like that,” Hopper said. “But Auburn is going to be one.”
Rivals ranks Hopper, who is 6-foot-2 and weighs 220 pounds, the No. 21 player in Georgia and No. 221 in the Rivals250.
“I’ll make (my commitment) either before or after the season,” Hopper said. “I’m still looking around for the right place.”