College coaches from across the country have definitely noticed as Prater currently holds around 30 offers with programs such as USC, Penn State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa all on board with scholarship offers. While it's no surprise to see some of those names involved with a player from the Midwest, seeing the Auburn Tigers in the mix is a different story.
Illinois hasn't been common recruiting grounds for Auburn programs in the past. For that matter, the entire Midwest has been virtually a recruiting dead zone for the Tigers. Coach Gene Chizik and his new staff are hoping to change that by going after one of the nation's best players and Prater says Auburn is an intriguing offer to him.
"It was a very good offer," Prater tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "It's one of the premier schools in the South. The school is real football oriented. They are real fond of football in the South. It's a real good school down in Alabama and they can do good things."
Being recruited for the Tigers by Coach Tommy Thigpen, Prater says he's only spoken a couple of times with Auburn coaches, but he knows why they are looking at him and want him to consider their program.
"They're just looking for that premier guy," the 6-5, 205 Prater says. "They are looking for a premier playmaker to get them to the BCS Championship. They are looking for a big receiver that can make plays."
A playmaker is what Prater is. As a junior he fought through constant double-teams to catch 60 passes for 948 yards and nine touchdowns. Though he doesn't possess blazing speed (4.5 second 40-yard dash), Prater says he more than makes up for that with his willingness to do whatever it takes to make the play.
"I would describe myself as an overall player that can do anything," Prater says. "I can go deep, go across the middle, catch a hitch and turn it into a 90-yard touchdown. I'm just an explosive receiver. I take pride in catching the ball with my hands. I want to be a great player."
With so many schools to choose from, Prater took several visits during the spring and he says he's trying to get more set up for the summer including a possible trip down South to check out the Tigers. He says those trips will help him try to begin to narrow down his list of schools heading into his senior year
"I went to Illinois, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ohio State (7-on-7 camp), but it wasn't really a visit," he says. "I would love to try to get down to Auburn. I'll have to talk to my family and try to set up something.
"I'm doing that as we speak," Prater says about cutting down his list. "By the end of this month I'm going to have it down to a Top 10 or Top Five. I will definitely consider Auburn."
With all the tools to be successful on and off the field, Prater says that in the end his decision will come down to the school he feels like will prepare him the best for his future no matter where that takes him.
"I have been focusing on the academic side of things to help me narrow things down," he adds. "I wouldn't be anywhere without that. I want to pick a school that when I step on campus I'll have a life beyond football. A school that can get my NFL ready and is good overall with good coaches."