McRae is already planning on attending camps at Auburn and Georgia Tech along with one for Nike and Scout.com's popular combine. He visited Tech for its first junior day and may participate in the one coming up on the 31st of March as well as a return visit.
GT isn't the only school that may get multiple visits from Nick this off-season. What other schools has he seen that he could return to? "Auburn, I went there for their last spring game -- ‘A-day'," said McRae. "I liked it. It was pretty cool to see how much support they have for a spring game. There were a lot of people out there for just a spring game that wasn't even a real game."
Other team's spring games or practices might get visits soon from McRae. "I'm going to try to go to Tech's but if I don't get to their spring game, I'm going to try to go to one of their practices," said McRae. "And either Georgia or South Carolina; one of their spring games."
The only offer to date is from the Yellow Jackets but other big name programs are showing a lot of interest. "No, I haven't gotten any more offers but I've got to see about going to Alabama; they've been texting me a lot and North Carolina State," said McRae. "And then I'm going to try and go to Florida one day and probably Clemson."
The offer from Tech has put them high on McRae's list. But what other schools, were they to offer, would be of interest to McRae and would move them up the list? "Probably Georgia, Florida and Auburn, if they offered, and N.C. State," said McRae.
Nick couldn't trim his list down to a top two or three but he does currently favor the schools showing the most interest in him currently. "It would be the ones with the most interest right now, which would be Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Alabama, and probably Auburn and Georgia," said McRae.
The 6'3", 285 pound rising senior is being looked at by all teams as an offensive lineman. Most see him at one position specifically: "Center," said McRae. "I know somewhere on the offensive line. I know Auburn told me they are going to recruit me as a tackle. I think I'm probably going to play center for any other school but they might move me around somewhere."
Does Nick prefer center?
"It really don't matter just as long as I'm on there," said McRae.
No defensive line?
"I'll play defensive line!" said McRae. "I like defensive line. I don't think anybody really sees me at defensive line because I really hardly played it my junior year."
He'll play both offensive and defensive lines in his senior season but which does he actually enjoy more?
"Defense!" said McRae. "I love defense. But I'll play anywhere just to help. Whatever they need; I'll play."
I was curious to find out just why he preferred defensive line when offensive line seems to be the place that will take him to the next level.
"You can hit people," said McRae. "On offense line you've got to block. And I'm not a person who wants the glory but offensive line, you don't get any glory. On defensive line, when you make a play, people know." Nick laughed when finishing up his last thought, "But offensive line does get the blame when everything's not going well though."
What about the level of football beyond college. Are there any aspirations for playing in the NFL one day? "Yeah, I think that's pretty much everybody's dream but I'm not going to base my decision off of that because it's really hard to make it there, but that's my dream," said McRae. "I'm trying to set myself up for the future if I don't make it in the NFL."
In order to prepare for that scenario where the NFL might not work out, what kind of education is he looking for or even what specific majors has he thought about? "Being an engineer – Electric Engineer," said McRae.
Which schools best provide those opportunities? "Georgia Tech, as far as I know," said McRae. "I've looked at some of the other schools on the internet too. I know Auburn has a pretty good engineering school and I think N.C. State has one. Those are the schools I know have a good engineering program."
Academics tops Nick's list of factors he'll consider when choosing a college. "First I've got to look at the academics," said McRae. "I've got to look at the area, the location, then look at the football program itself."
Nick said that he probably didn't want to hold out too long before make a commitment and thinks he could end the process, "possibly at the end of the summer," said McRae. Nick and his family also seem to have a preference for not traveling too far from Dublin. "If I have to go far away, I'll go but I think my family would rather see me closer to them," said McRae. He said that the schools that fit that profile are ones that are in or border his home state of Georgia. If the right school came calling though, it is possible Nick would at least give them a listen. "Last week Notre Dame started to show some interest," said McRae. "They asked for some of my film. They're pretty far away, but that's a possibility."
The coming season could be an interesting one for Nick and his Dublin teammates. From the sounds of things, it could be a tough, rebuilding-type season. Nick says besides him, the team doesn't return hardly anyone from offense and that the defense will return just two starters from the 2006 season. Among the losses for Dublin is linebacker Thomas Barnes, who signed with North Carolina State in February. I suspect teams will really focus their game plans on containing or avoiding McRae. How does Nick plan on trying to succeed in those conditions? "I'm just going to try and help the team win and try to lead the team in the right direction," said McRae.
There are no spring sports for Nick but his talents don't just end at football. He plays center for the basketball team that just missed playing in the state tournament with a tough loss in the region tourney. Also, don't look for the thick, 285-pound center to dunk in basketball games though he says he can. He displays his best Jordan impressions typically after basketball practices.
On the subject of hoops, Nick says he's rooting for Ohio State in the NCAA tournament. He correctly picked them to win Thursday night's game against Tennessee. The reason he likes the Buckeye's? Of course, it's because of their fellow center… 7-footer Greg Oden. Look for Nick to be an impact player at the center position himself, just for a different sport!