Isaac Nauta was originally scheduled to take an official visit to USC on Nov. 7, but he opted to make a change to his itinerary in light of the news surrounding former coach Steve Sarkisian.
“The obvious reason was the coaching change,” Nauta told SEC Country over the weekend. “I just don’t see myself going out there under those circumstances.”
Instead, the 5-star tight end from IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) will head to Alabama, a program he acknowledged has always been persistent throughout his recruitment. Nauta said he’s developed a close relationship with coach Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart.
“My primary recruiter when Alabama first offered was Kirby Smart,” Nauta said. “I was always involved with him. And I was always talking to Coach Saban, too. Since I moved down here, it’s been (offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin) and Coach Saban. Coach Saban has always been on the phone with me and has always been involved in my recruitment.”
Nauta has already taken official visits to UGA (Oct. 3) and Michigan (Oct. 17) thus far. He took an official visit to Ole Miss over the weekend with teammates Shea Patterson, a Rebels commit, and Jack Wegher. His fifth and final visit will be to TCU (Nov. 27).
Alabama, like the other four schools he has or plans on visiting, will be given a better look as Nauta inches towards a decision.
“All of my official visits, I’m definitely considering those schools,” Nauta said. “Those are the ones I’ve pretty much narrowed it down to.”
Nauta is rated as the No. 9 player in the country.