BRADENTON, Fla. -- Five-star tight end Isaac Nauta recently backed off his pledge to Florida State and now the 10th-ranked player in the ESPN 300 is feeling the heat from several other programs.
The 6-foot-4, 237-pound tight end from IMG Academy admitted he started feeling the pressure of recruiting and wanted to make sure he was making the best decision for his future.
“I was kind of just feeling stressed knowing that with me being an early graduate I have six months to figure this thing out and get it right,” Nauta said. “I just really needed to make sure I was making the right decision for myself. I just decided to cut all ties and make sure I was making the best possible decision.”
Though Florida State has taken a step back with Nauta, several schools are very much in the picture.
“FSU isn't in it as much but I’m open to really anybody,” Nauta said. "Georgia, TCU, Michigan and Florida has been on me pretty hard. Oklahoma State just jumped in to the picture; they want to start using a tight end too. Baylor and all the schools I visited in Texas, they are all fresh and new to me so I like those schools a lot. Southern Cal is in there, too.”
With the football season less than a month away, Nauta has an idea of where he’d like to take official visits.
“Right now I have about four in mind and the fifth visit is kind of a wild-card visit. I’d say Georgia, Southern Cal, Michigan and TCU are pretty much the four I have locked in. There’s schools like Oregon, Alabama, Okie State, they are all battling for that fifth official.
"Really all of those schools, they all kind of have what I’m looking for as far as fan base and they win, they all have a decent education. But really it’s just going to be that gut feeling where, ‘Look, I know this is home, I feel comfortable signing here' and that’s really going to be what separates the schools.”
Nauta admitted distance from his home in Georgia is something that he has thought about, but family connections to two out-of-state programs have canceled out any of those concerns.
"We actually have family connections at Michigan because my uncle played for coach [Jim] Harbaugh's dad at Western Michigan. My uncle has known the Harbaugh family for a long time. I also have family in Southlake [Texas] near Dallas. From TCU that’s not but 20 minutes away and an hour from Waco. That’s a reason that TCU is sticking out for me is because I have some of my closest relatives just 20 minutes down the road.”
Nauta is planning to enroll for the spring semester at whichever school he chooses and is planning to wait until January to announce his final destination.