Nathan Rhodes, 6-7, 300, Bakersfield (Calif.) East Baskersfield, is preparing for his senior season while also fielding quite a bit of recruiting interest.
"Recruiting's going well," Rhodes said, which you would expect, since he's one of the most highly-sought offensive lineman in the country.
"UCLA, Tennessee, Michigan and Nebraska are my top four," Rhodes said. "I don't have a favorite among those. Those four are pretty solid."
Rhodes said that, even though things could change, he believes he'll take official trips to those four schools. "And maybe LSU or Washington could be the fifth trip," Rhodes said.
The big offensive lineman thinks he'd like to take his trips and then decide as soon as possible. "I think I want to make a decision by January. I want to take those four trips and then decide pretty soon after that."
Could he possibly be so blown away by a school that he commits on his visit or does he intend to take all of his trips? " I really want to take all four of those trips, just to get enough information to decide. I guess if one is just totally phenomenal, I could commit. But I can't tell you what would make it so phenomenal."
Rhodes said he has been unofficially to UCLA, and he camped at Michigan this summer. He had plans to go to Tennessee for a camp but couldn't afford the trip. Those three have been pretty constant members in Rhodes little fraternity of favorite schools, but it seems like Nebraska is a recent addition. "Yeah, Nebraska wasn't there at the beginning. But I read some stuff and liked them. So they've jumped up."
There are many factors, Rhodes said, that will affect his decision. "Academics, whether the program competes for a national championship or bowl games regularly, the coaches' personalities, the student support of the team...there are many things. Whether it's close to home doesn't matter. My parents will probably move wherever I go. Playing early doesn't really matter. I think the facilities, and the city or town and weather will matter. I don't like rain. Snow doesn't bother me. Heat doesn't bother me. But I don't like rain. A big or little city, that doesn't matter either."
When asked if how well the schools he's considering do this season will matter in his decision, Rhodes said, "No, not really. Maybe a little, but probably not a lot. All four of those schools are pretty good and always competing. They have off years but they're pretty much competing all the time for bowls and championships."