Q&A: A.J. Natter

How has life changed for A.J. Natter since his commitment to Nebraska? Plus, have other teams backed off? If you don't have a Big Red Report premium membership, you are missing out!

It's been a little while now since you committed, so first how has your life changed since your commitment?

"It's been a lot less hectic with the mail and coaches visiting. A lot of pressure has been lifted off my shoulders. I'm absolutely confident in my decision and happy about it. Most in my school are happy about it, some more than others, but the pressure is gone. I haven't thought about the recruiting process much. The only thing I'm really doing with the recruiting process is I'm still talking with the Nebraska coaches and a few recruits. It's just been a weight lifted and a great."


You said some more than others, you getting a hard time from some friends about not going to Wisconsin?

"Yeah, a lot of people, but they all respect my decision and respect the Husker football program. I haven't gotten anyone really talking bad about the Huskers to me, at least not to my face. When I get a hard time about it, I just bring up the National Championships (laughter)."


You mentioned you are still talking to the Nebraska coaching staff quite a bit, how much has that relationship changed now that you are committed?


Coach Papuchis (left) and Coach Kaczenski (right)
(Photo By: Josh Harvey)

"It's a lot more now on a personal basis. It's not just about football, but how I'm doing in school, life, and track. It's not as uptight, they aren't selling me anymore, they are telling me the truth. They weren't lying before, but it's not about selling themselves to me anymore. It's always nice to get on the phone with Coach Papuchis or Coach Kaczenski."


How often do you talk with them?

"At least once a week, I was actually going to give them a call tomorrow. I like talking with them. They haven't stopped recruiting me. Coach Cotton came up last week and Coach Kaczenski is actually coming up this next week, so they are still giving me plenty of attention."


I know Nebraska was your second offer and they offered pretty early compared to a lot of teams, even before Wisconsin. How much did that factor into your decision in the end?

"I have told other people they were the first time to ever contact me with mail. They sent me a game invite. Before that, I didn't know much about Nebraska at all. They were the first team I actually went to a game for. They set the standard. There were not many teams who could compete with them. Of course every team has some sort of tradition, but everything at Nebraska is amazing. Them offering me so early showed me really how much they wanted me. Coach Papuchis told me at the time they didn't just offer guys to offer guys, they offered guys with high character and that really sold it to me. It wasn't just about talent alone, but how hard you would work."


You are right now the No. 16 DE in the country according to Fox Sports Next. When you hear that, what are your thoughts? Underrated? Humble to be that high?

"It's nice to have those accolades and everything, but I really can honestly say I don't pay much attention to the rankings or anything. Once you get to college, you are the bottom of the totem pole. You work your way up. It doesn't matter if you are the No. 1 recruit in the country. The coaches won't give two thoughts about it. But I feel honored by the ranking, yet I don't go boasting about it – that's not me. I started at the bottom of the totem poll and have worked my way up – that's just my mentality."


Last question, have other teams and coaches backed off?

"Most of them have backed off. A few have come to my school, but I tell everyone I'm excited about my commitment to Nebraska and that I'm solid. I want to be a Husker. Teams have told me they will still recruit me, but it doesn't matter. No one is going to sway my decision, it's just the way it is."


To read more from A.J. Natter, make sure to check out BRR's N-Sider on Friday

Josh Harvey has covered college football and recruiting for Fox Sports & Scout.com since 2008. He is now the Publisher of Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics.
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