"I set up my visit to Iowa State about a week ago," said Nate Prater. "I talked to Coach Grant, who has been recruiting me real hard. My top schools right now are Kansas State, Kansas, Iowa State, Michigan, and Oklahoma. I have official visits set up to Kansas State on November 20th, Kansas on December 10th, and Iowa State on December 17th.
ISU looked to be a long shot for Prater around a month ago, as the athletic tight end looked to be considering other programs more seriously. But the Cyclones' recent winning streak, along with his unofficial visit to Ames last weekend for the Nebraska game, have him speaking very highly of the program.
"I'm really looking at Iowa State even harder now," he said. "They're a program that's up and coming. I was hearing rumors about Coach McCarney's job security, and couldn't believe that was even coming up. He's one of the best coaches there is. Iowa State is a program that is up and coming. Who wouldn't want to be a part of that.
"I went down there for the Iowa State-Nebraska game and it was pretty exciting. Coming into a big game like that, trying to beat a division leader, Iowa State jumped on the Huskers pretty quickly. I was shocked. I knew it was going to be a good game, but I didn't think Iowa State was going to come out that big. The fans down there were great. They reminded me of the Husker fans, actually. The campus looked real good, and the environment was nice. I really can't look for anything better than that in school."
Prater also has some family and friends competing for the Cyclones. His cousin is true freshman Brandon Gunn, and he says starting running back Stevie Hicks – an Omaha Creighton Prep alum – remains a close friend. But first thing's first for Prater. He's remaining neutral towards his top programs until after taking his visits.
"I want to take my official visits and that will give me a better look at the schools," he said. "Then I'm pretty sure I'll make my decision right after that."
A fourth official visit could be to Oklahoma, says Prater, who considered taking an unofficial trip to Norman for this weekend's Nebraska game.
"A coach from Oklahoma wanted me to come down to the Oklahoma-Nebraska game this Saturday, but I'm not going to be able to make that one," he said. "I think they're pretty close to offering. I'm in the process of sending out my senior tape, so I'm looking for more scholarships coming."
Prater's most likely position at the next level appears to be tight end, where coaches like his athleticism.
"All of the schools are looking for me to play tight end," he said. "They like my size at 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds. They love my speed, because I run a 4.7 40. Everyone believes I have the softest hands."