This story originally published on CanesTime.com
UM Visits School of Top NJ QB
"I first started when I was about eight and I've played there the whole time
except my sophomore year at my old school when I played safety," Natale
said. "It just came naturally. I've been to a lot of camps over the last
several years and just being around the various coaches has really helped
me. Plus, I used to throw with guys like Matt LoVecchio who went on to play
quarterback in Division 1."
As talented as the 6-2, 190-pounder is, it's the mental aspect of the game that he considers his strength.
"I think my knowledge of the game makes me a little different," he said. "A lot of kids can throw and run, you see that at these camps. But being able to know all the little things, reading defenses, breaking down coverages, those are very important."
Natale's right. The proof is on the field at the college level. With players like Ken Dorsey and Craig Krenzel winning national titles in recent years, it doesn't always take a top 5 pick to make a big impact. Natale does have plenty of physical upside.
He ran a 4.62/40 at a combine at Giants Stadium two weeks ago and ran a 4.41 in the short shuttle. He can throw the ball as well as any quarterback in the entire Northeast region.
"I'm up to eight written scholarship offers," he said. "Missouri, Syracuse, Louisville, Kansas, Kent State, Rutgers, Mississippi State, and Townsend have sent me an offer. Over the next four weeks, I'll be stopping by LSU, Clemson, and Notre Dame because I know they're very interested in me as well."
Most of those programs sent a coach to visit Natale's school in the last few weeks. Miami was another one to do that.
"A coach from Miami was here last week talking with my coach," he said. "He said they're interested but aren't offering yet because they want to evaluate more guys. That's OK, I mean, that's Miami. They can hold out and then just offer the best quarterback in the nation. Hopefully they'll continue looking at me."
The talented signal-caller is excited about being recruited by the Hurricanes.
"It's definitely exciting," he said. "Not everyone gets looked at by Miami. The competition there really makes everyone better. They have the best guys in the nation around you too."
Natale, who scored an 1170 on the SAT, threw for 2,100 yards and 21 touchdowns last season. Now he's ready for another big year.
"I want to make my college decision before our season so I can focus on taking our team to the championship," he said.
Natale, who said he's not yet ready to be able to name any particular favorites, did mention a couple who may stand out.
"Missouri was my first offer so that's real important to me," he said. "I'm going down to LSU next week and I'm very excited about that. They're coming off the national title and so they go after the best guys."
Speaking of the best, Natale said it won't matter what the depth charts look like at the schools he'll consider.
"If superman went to a school that I'm looking at, it would be intimidating," he said. "But I see it like this -- there will always be good players at every top school. I just want to get a chance and I'll compete with anyone a school has. If a school offers me, they obviously feel I'll be able to compete with the current guys they have so I would have to go prove that to them."
On a side note, Natale had a chance to throw to one of the nation's premier prospects -- Maryland's Derrick Williams -- at a recent combine. Natale said Williams, who has been offered by Miami already, was fun to throw to.
"The first thing you notice is how fast he is," he said. "He can fly. But even more than that, he is quick. All of his cuts are quick. He changes direction, makes adjustments, all of that super quick. A lot of guys run fast straight ahead but slow down when they need to cut or change directions. He never slows down and that's a big advantage to have as a quarterback throwing to him. He should become a great player in college."
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