By Brandon Gann
AUBURN, Ala. -There are many reasons students may choose to attend: academics, athletics or even location.
Senior tight end Caleb King has been an Auburn Tiger since birth. When deciding where to play, it wasn't even a question. He's a legacy student; his mother, brother and uncle are all Auburn alums.
"I came to games as a little kid and, ever since, I've dreamed of being an Auburn Tiger," King said. "The coaches have been amazing and the team, the facilities - all around, Auburn's been my top favorite."
To King, family is a big deal, so the Huntsville, Ala., product loves the atmosphere that comes with Auburn.
"It's a tight-knit family," King said. "Everyone's always nice and always looking out for each other. It sounds cliché sometimes, but it really is a family here."
That family includes his teammates and the bonds they form.
"We spend so much time together throughout the year - those early mornings, the hard workouts, the practices," King said. "They really do become your brothers and we look out for each other.
"It's a ton of fun. A lot goes on that a lot of people don't see. They just see the Saturdays, but [the locker room] is where a lot of the team unity happens."
Because of this, the 2017 Auburn Tigers have the greatest sense of closeness King has seen.
"There's definitely a mindset of 'It's our time' this year," he said. "It seems everyone has that vision of a championship and we're bringing it back to Auburn. We'll move onto the summer and into fall camp. It's going to be a good year."
Now that it's his senior season, one word to sum up his time at Auburn is bittersweet, yet King wants to focus more on the positives.
"You're excited for the next phase of life, but at the same time, this has become home," King said.
The business management honor roll student works to balance the demands that come with being a student-athlete.
"Definitely time management - prioritizing all of the workouts, practices, and meetings," he said.
"You have to make choices like study now or wake up early in the morning. It's tough to juggle all of that, but it has prepared me to go into the next phase of life, into the workforce, to be a better person, and work hard."
King believes he will miss game days the most, from Tiger Walk to the games themselves, but the self-discipline has paid off for him.
"Prepare for the hard work," King said. "Prepare your mind for the everyday grind and hard work that goes in those early mornings, the long hours. Sometimes that's not said on recruiting visits, but if you buy into the process, it'll be worth it."
To every member of the Auburn Family, King can't show enough appreciation.
"They are the most amazing fans. They're always out there, always loud, always enthusiastic," King said. "They show so much love. I want to tell them thank you for everything they've done."