Fa'najae Gotay (North Fort Myers, Fla.) is admittedly a different character. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound linebacker/running back has grown up in talent-rich Florida and has been playing football since middle school, but pays the sport little mind off the field. Gotay said he has plenty of other interests outside of football, including mathematics, so he never really discusses the sport or even watches it on TV.
“I know, right?” laughed Gotay. “College, NFL, I really don’t watch any teams or anything like that.”
He’ll start paying attention soon enough, however. He recently landed his first two scholarship offers from Arizona and USF, and Jan. 23 his third verbal came in from Maryland.
The Terps’ offer came from UMD linebackers’ coach Matt Barnes, who wants the North Fort Myers athlete as a middle backer.
“I really enjoyed getting that offer,” Gotay said. “I’ve been talking to one of [Maryland’s graduate assistants] for a little while now, and he’s been cool. And my best friend, Jeshaun Jones (South Fort Myers, Fla.) has an offer from them too, so it was exciting to get one as well. Jeshaun, he’s like my brother, and we stay together and things like that. So we were saying it would be cool to go up there together for a visit.”
Gotay had his first contact with Barnes Jan. 23. The recruit said he spoke to Barnes for around five to 10 minutes and basically just introduced themselves.
“Coach Barnes told me I had the offer when I called him, and he really wants me to come up there to look around the campus and all that,” Gotay said. “He really enjoyed my film and likes what I can do as a linebacker. We talked for a little bit and it was a good introduction. I like him.
“But right now he’s just telling me to do some research on my own, and I plan on doing that soon. Right now, though, I don’t really know about Maryland. I haven’t really watched them, obviously, but from what I’ve heard it’s a nice school. I’m interested and I want to check it out.”
Gotay had similar comments in regards to his first two college looks. He knew a bit more about USF since it’s nearby, but isn’t privy to much about Arizona.
“Those were big-time offers too. USF is close by and is the hometown school. I’ve been up there for 7-on-7s and things like that, and it’s a cool place,” Gotay said. “I’m still finding out more about Arizona, but my cousin actually goes there. So that’s pretty cool.”
Thus far, USF is the only college campus Gotay has been on. He’s unsure which schools he’ll be able to venture out to this offseason, but would like to see each of his current offers in addition to other regional programs.
Naturally, Gotay said he has no dream offers, nor is he aware of what programs may ante up next.
“I just want to find a place that’s a great fit for me academically and educationally,” Gotay said. “I want to be a math teacher if football doesn’t work out, so I really am interested in schools with good teaching programs.”
As of now, Gotay said his first three offers are all for defense. Which makes sense considering he’s coming off a season where he racked up 160 tackles, 39 tackles for loss, five sacks and a pick in nine games.
“Personally, I like to hit and I love contact, so I prefer defense,” Gotay said. “But my high school coach actually thinks I’d be a better running back than linebacker. But to me it really doesn’t matter. I’ll go wherever the offers take me.”