All of a sudden, the Texas Longhorns are making serious inroads in tight end recruiting, as the staff hosted Florida State Seminoles commit Isaac Nauta over the weekend, opting to use the opportunity to extend an offer.
On Friday night, position coach Jeff Traylor picked up his first tight end pledge as a Longhorns coach when he secured the commitment of New Orleans (La.) Brother Martin before hosting Nauta and two other Georgia prospects on Saturday and Sunday. Nauta also visited Baylor and TCU while in the state.
And though a flip of Nauta from the Noles to the Horns is hardly immiment or even particularly likely at this point, the positive momentum is significant and the opportunity to at least compete in Nauta's recruitment an important development at a need position.
The nation's No. 1 tight end, Nauta plays at the IMG Academy in Georgia and committted to Florida State back in December. A consensus five-star prospect and the No. 16 player overall, as well as the No. 5 player in Georgia, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, the 6'4, 237-pounder holds close to 40 offers, but looked locked in to Florida State throughout the process -- all 23 of his predictions in the 247Sports Crystal Ball pointed in that direction.
So getting him back on campus before National Signing Day for an official visit would represent a significant victory in and of itself. But as difficult as Nauta's recruitment looks on the surface, landing Devonaire Clarington looked like a longshot at this time last summer, while flipping Kai Locksley from the Noles proved the Horns can accomplish that feat against one of the hottest national programs in recruiting right now. The circumstances are much different for Nauta since Locksley was one of three quarterbacks in the 2015 Florida State class, but some tempered optimism seems in order at this point.
Accompanying Nauta on his visit were star 2017 prospects Robert Beal and Isaiah Pryor. Both received offers while in Austin. Beal is the consensus No. 6 weakside defensive end in his class who hauls from Norcross in Georgia, while Pryor is the consensus No. 2 safety from Lawrenceville Archer.