Nation’s top TE is committed to FSU, but still thinking UGA

The nation's top-ranked tight end returned to Athens for a visit on Sunday. (Michael Carvell / AJC)

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The nation’s top-ranked tight end returned to Athens for a visit on Sunday. (Michael Carvell / AJC)

Isaac Nauta — the nation's top-ranked tight end — is committed to Florida State. But he made his seventh visit to Athens since his freshman year on Sunday.

He told the AJC that UGA are now clearly his No. 2 team and that one of his official visits will be to Athens.

“Georgia I would say right now is probably second for sure,” Natua said. “Another thing is they have stayed on me since I committed. I don’t know if a lot of schools realize that or not, but that stuff is pretty big.”

Nauta is also planning to return to for UGA’s elite “Dawg Night” prospect camp on July 18.

“It was a good visit,” said Nauta, who transferred to IMG Academy this year from Buford. “I got to talk to Coach (Mark) Richt and (tight ends coach) John Lilly and they were able to reestablish what they have been saying all along with me. They told me how bad they want me. My point in doing that is I was back home down the road and Georgia has been right in my top five from the very beginning. Why not stop by and take another visit?”

Nauta said that the Bulldogs were his second choice back when he committed to Florida State last December.

“Georgia grows on me all the time,” Natua said. “One because it would be super easy for my family to go to a game and I have got a lot of friends in Georgia. That’s one reason why it is always climbing for me. But just to be able to sit and talk to Coach Richt on a Sunday when he is normally not there that was just great for me yesterday. Just to do that on a Sunday when he is normally not there. That was real cool of him to come out and spend some time with a guy like me.”

The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder said he believes that he is still the top tight end on the board in Athens.

“Every time I have gone up to Athens it has always been how much they want me,” Nauta said. “They always roll out the red carpet for me.”

When he committed to FSU last year, he said he had a real good feeling about Tallahassee. He believed in tight ends coach Tim Brewster. He wanted to get a bit of distance from home in Atlanta, but it appears that lure of playing out-of-state has lessened to him.

UGA's pitch consists of two main factors: 1) The versatility that tight ends have in the offense; 2) The lure of playing for a coordinator with NFL experience in Brian Schottenheimer.

“They just continue to explain all the things I can do in the offense,” Natua said. “They said Coach Schottenheimer will always have a tight end on the field and for a guy like me that’s what you want to hear. You want to be able to block and stuff but you also want to be able to make plays. Georgia has a pro-style offense and they develop big-time quarterbacks and throw for a lot of yards every game. So for a tight end, that’s really perfect.”

The lure of incoming five-star quarterback Jacob Eason is another draw.

“I’ve seen him a couple of times and he is definitely a great quarterback and a great guy,” Natua said. “He’s definitely going to be a good one. What stood out for me one time with Eason is I was at a camp with him one time in Orlando. I saw him throw at least a 70-yard deep ball and I was thinking ‘Wow, that’s pretty good’ and that’s a guy you want to play with if you can.”

Natua told the AJC that his best time in the 40-yard dash has been at 4.56 seconds. That shows he has the wheels to run under a few of those deep balls.

Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.