Classifying Waukesha (Wis.) Catholic Memorial senior Michael Naze at one position is like trying to beat him one-on-one in the trenches – a tough task.
The 6-2, 225-pound Naze fits the mold of a non-traditional tight end, one that can split out, play in the slot or be used as a fullback or H-Back. For the Crusaders, Naze is able to move around in the formation and can be the lead blocker in the backfield, block as a tight end or run routes and catch the football.
Bringing versatility to the offense, Naze finished his junior season with 23 receptions for 221 yards, helping the Crusaders go 14-0 and win the WIAA Division 3 state championship.
“At Catholic Memorial we have great tradition,” Naze said. “We have a real competitive team every year. Coaches know they are going to get quality guys from our program. We have a lot of seniors going to play college football and C.J. (Goetz) is going to Wisconsin. I just do what I’m asked to do and play the role I’m needed to play. I think some people are starting to see that and it’s starting to show up with these offers.”
Holding double-digit offers, including Air Force, Ball State, Illinois State, Navy, North Dakota State and South Dakota State, Naze has seen a majority of his college opportunities come during the spring. Most schools are recruiting him at that H-back position.
“It’s definitely been really exciting,” Naze said. “It’s picked up really fast. It’s been a fun process but a fast process. After it settles down, it’ll give me time to start researching the programs and make the decision of who I want to continue to visit.”
Naze has already visited Air Force, Ball State and a few other schools. He’ll visit Wisconsin for the Badgers’ second camp tonight. Wisconsin already has a commitment from Naze’s classmate, linebacker C.J. Goetz, and Naze visited the program for the first in April for the spring game.
“Basically a lot of (Wisconsin coaches) on their staff have seen my film and said I do a lot of things right,” Naze said. “With my film, it allows them to see me do a lot of different things. Similar to the way they use Troy Fumagalli in their offense, so I think that helps. They want to see me move around in a camp to see where I am at.
“Luckily with C.J. already going to the school, I see Coach Haering come through the school and had a chance to talk to him a few times. I’ve told him where I am at and they are excited to see me.”
When he hits the field tonight, Naze said he’s going in with a mindset to earn an offer, which he hopes will get the ball rolling with some other schools who could be close to offering.
“It’s an opportunity for an offer, and it would be awesome if I could show them what they need to see for an offer to come up,” Naze said. “I’m also going there knowing that I’m going to compete. Whatever happens, happens. I’m going to control what I can control.”
Having already camped at Iowa, Naze will camp at Minnesota on June 15.