In fact, his connection to state of Michigan and coach Jim Harbaugh runs deep -- he explains -- as a big reason behind his planned visit.
“Greg Mattison was the defensive coordinator of my uncle in college [at Western Michigan], and then Harbaugh’s father [Jack] was his head coach,” Nauta said. “An then with him being in the NFL, there was always a connection between the two Harbaugh’s [Jack and Jim]. They’ve known my family for a while. When I heard about Harbaugh getting the Michigan job I was pretty excited about it. That’s where my family is. My family lives up in Michigan still [Grand Rapids, Mich.], so all my relatives and stuff. I am definitely going to take a visit up there.”
At 6-foot-4, 240-pounds, Nauta is rated a four-star prospect and No. 3 TE in the country. And despite his commitment to FSU, he says Harbaugh and Mattison have made it known they want him in Ann Arbor.
“You know they really want me, they say ‘look man, we are going to keep recruiting you until you sign,’” Nauta said.
And his interest in Michigan is mutual, specifically with how Harbaugh develops his tight ends and utilizes them in his offensive schemes.
“Coach Harabugh has done nothing but produce tight ends,” Nauta said. “You look at the [San Francisco] 49ers with Vernon Davis and what he did at Stanford. For a tight end -- that’s huge – because you want to get the ball and be a playmaker out there. Definitely with that in mind too, that gets me more interested in Michigan once he took the job. When I take an official up there I will be able see how he lays it out and what he really does with the tight ends.”
While Nauta has been on a campus visit to Michigan before, he admits next time it should be different. He also noted that he would like to experience his first U-M home game.
“The last time I visited was when the old staff was there,” Nauta said. “So I know things are going to be a lot schematically and just how things are run around there. It’s going to be a new look once I get up there. I have never been up to a game at Michigan before.
“I have heard noting but awesome things about the game experience. So I am ready to see all that.”
That being said, what would it take for Nauta to consider switching his commitment form the ‘Noles?
“I have been asked this questions a few times,” Nauta said. “But really, it would have to be a heart change or a gut change. A coaching change would be a big reason too. This decision to pick a college is a decision you need to be selfish about – because it’s your future. You can make some friends and lose some friends when you make your decision, but at the end of the day, it’s your decision.”