"Ole Miss actually offered me my freshman season," Nauta said. "I started building a good relationship with their coaches around the middle of my sophomore year, and we have been talking ever since."
Isaac Nauta visited the Oxford campus this past summer. He come back the Ole Miss/Texas A&M game weekend for an official visit.
"This time I wanted to see how involved they get their tight ends in a game and see if I can see myself living there for four years."
The No. 23 overall prospect found his answers.
"They definitely use their tight ends. Evan Engram broke their tight end record for receiving yards in a career while I was at the game. They put it up on the video board. That was pretty cool. He's caught a ton of balls while he's been there. They get their tight ends involved a lot. They use them in all kind of different ways. They put their hand down on one play, spread you out in another and run from the traditional spot in others. That's what I want to do on the next level. I want to be very versatile so I can get myself ready for the league."
"I definitely see Ole Miss as a town I could live in. It's definitely small but in a good way. It's like a big high school where you see everybody all of the time. It gives you that eminent feeling and it's a lot of fun at the same time. If you are from a small town it's right down your alley. If you are from a big town you probably wouldn't like it as much, but I could definitley fit in with a bigger or smaller school. I came from the suburbs of Atlanta but I lived in a small town before I moved to the Atlanta area. I like what they have to offer. It's a great school."
What stands out the most about the Rebels?
"I like their coaches a lot. They have a lot of good people on their staff. Being around good people makes you better. You want to be around people you enjoy being around to make it a good experience (in college)."
The former FSU commit has not released a top list but Ole Miss remains in contention.
"It was defenitley a good visit. They are definitley in it. I can't really say where Ole Miss or any school for that matter stands because I haven't released anything yet. I'll decide on all of that after I complete my official visits. I'm taking it slow so I can make a sound decision this time."
The 6-foot-4, 237-pound tight end has now visited Georgia, Michigan, and Ole Miss officially. The next two on the docket are to Alabama to see them play LSU this weekend and TCU when they host Baylor.
Georgia he is most familiar.
"Georgia is a school that is just right down the road from my house. Location is defnitley ideal there. I really like coach (Mark) Richt too. I like their whole staff. I know they aren't doing well right now. They are struggling but I like the plan they have for the future. They play in the SEC and have a big fanbase. That's another thing I'm looking for."
Anne Arbor was a better than expected trip.
"It really surprised me. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. You get a Michigan degree and it can take you to a lot of places after football. Coach (Jim) Harbaugh also has a great track record with tight ends during his coaching career. That's a big plus."
Ft. Worth gives him an opportunity to be around family as well.
"It's down the road from where some of where my family lives. I went over there unofficially for a visit and really liked it. I'm excited to take my official visit there. I really look forward to that visit."
The last official visit was originally slatted for Southern Cal but the dismissal of their head coach changed the route to Tuscaloosa.
"They have always been persistent with me in my recruitment. They are kind of like Ole Miss. They offered me my freshman year too. Coach (Lane) Kiffin has always been on me. Just always telling me to please come take a visit there. When Southern Cal changed head coaches I decided to go visit Alabama. They also use their tight end a lot there too. I'm excited about that visit there this weekend too. It's going to be a great game between Alabama and LSU. It should be an exciting game."
When it does come decision time there will be a couple important factors that will go through the thought process.
"I want to go to a spot where I'll love living there. Getting a degree that means something will be important too. I just want to be around good people who have a good plan to help prepare me for the NFL. That's basically what it will come down too."
What makes the Army All-American so special on the field?
"I say me being a tight end, I can put my hand down and block or line up wide and be like a big receiver. I can do both. I think my time here at IMG has helped me with my route adjustments. The mental side is where I really improved on the most this season. At my old school we had set routes and you ran them no matter the situation but here it's like college where you have to adjust your routes. That has helped prepare me for college. I'm excited that we were the first team in school history at IMG to go undefeated. It was a great experience. I graduate here in December and I'll enroll somewhere in January. That's going to give me a leg up on getting the system down before the fall. I'm excited about it."
Yancy Porter is the recruiting analyst for the Ole Miss Spirit and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org