Such labels and ‘cookie cutter measurables' have never stopped the Iowa coaching staff from finding football players.
Drew Tate is neither as tall nor as built as Costa, and he was 1st Team All Big Ten in 2004 and was the Capital One Bowl's Offensive MVP. Long after his playing days are through, Tate's legacy will walk the hallways of the Hayden Fry Football Complex.
Costa and one of his coaches, Craig Handy, flew half way across the country this weekend to attend camp sessions at Northwestern and Iowa, and we spoke with them just prior to their boarding their flight back to California.
The trip went real well. We got to Iowa City yesterday afternoon and we stood around and watched the kids as they tested everyone. Then we bumped into some coaches and introduced ourselves.
We showed up this morning and Nathan threw for two hours in the morning and then two hours in the afternoon. There was a huge group of players; I guess there were like 630 kids there.
Q: You told us last week that Nathan was some 16 weeks removed from successful ACL surgery. Was he able to show the Iowa coaching staff what he has to offer, or was he somewhat limited as he works his way back into playing shape?
HANDY: There was nothing that he could not do as far as movement, of the drills they had the quarterbacks do. So if you were Joe Smith standing on the street, you would not have known that he had an ACL tear 16 weeks ago.
They (Iowa coaches) were limited as to what they can say as there were a lot of kids there, but they were definitely excited. But it's hard to tell. I guess there are a lot of rules, and they cannot use a camp like this as a recruiting tool. So we played by the rules, and that says a lot about their integrity. I think after Iowa finishes up this camp, things will get more clear as Nathan is concerned.
"This is the farthest east I have ever been. Arizona was the farthest east I had ever been before this. I have never seen anything like it before, but I liked it a lot. It seemed like a small town that is centered around a college. I think that is cool. My coach told me to realize that things are a lot different when the students are there, but I really thought it was a nice town."
Q: Were you able to check out the facilities while you were in town?
COSTA: "I did not get to see the stadium because of the construction, but I was able to see all of the facilities, and we did not get a guided tour because they can't use a camp as a recruiting tool, but we wandered around the facilities ourselves and read all the plaques and saw all of the trophies. I was impressed with all of the facilities that were just for the football team; I liked that a lot."
Q: How did you feel you performed?
COSTA: "I did good. Today was a good day for me; I threw well in both sessions. I think the Iowa coaches liked me; they were real excited, and I liked that. They couldn't say much, but they commented some on my footwork as well as some of my throws. They coached you up when you made a mistake, stuff like that. It was not a total evaluation thing like that, but they had some comment on every throw."
Q: I asked your coach last week as to how Iowa got involved, and he said he took notice after watching an ‘undersized' quarterback like Drew Tate do what he did in that game. How did Iowa begin to stand out for you?
COSTA: "Probably just them being in the Big Ten. Being from California, we have the Pac-10, and that is great. But Big Ten football is just different. When you watch it on TV and you talk to people that know, you know it's different. Back here in the Midwest, everything is centered on football, and I like that. In California, football is big but it is not the same as it is here.
"Plus the Drew Tate play was something that I saw and took note of. Then I started receiving some mail from them and I learned more and more about them, and on the Internet. It seems like a great place."
"I want to play the best football that I can, and I like the Pac-10 too, but the Big Ten is one of the best conferences in the United States, so it would be a great fit for me."
Costa added that distance would not be a problem or factor as he deliberates on his college decision. Iowa has yet to offer Costa, but this visit to their campus gave them a chance to get a first hand evaluation. We will continue to keep you informed on Costa's recruitment. If you missed our lengthy interview with Coach Handy last week, CLICK HERE to read the story. Be sure to visit Nathan's player profile page by clicking on his name near the top of this item and scroll down to the lower left portion of the page to view his highlight reels.