Top '16 recruit Nate Craig plans on leaving Florida to play his college ball

Student Sports

Standout wide receiver Nate Craig plans to leave the state of Florida to play his college football. Find out why.

When it comes to 2016 recruiting it has become clear early in the process that Tampa (Fla.) Catholic wide receiver Nate Craig will be one of the top players in the class when it's all said and done.

He checks in as No. 18 wide receiver, the 12th best player in the state of Florida, and the 92nd overall player in the nation according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

A couple of weeks ago he took a visit to Auburn for their spring game and named the Tigers his leader following his visit.

"When I got there I met with the coaches, and they welcomed me with open arms," Craig said. "I went into the running backs room and met with him, then I went and met with coach Craig, the receivers coach. I was just building a bond with them.

"Then Saturday I went to the spring game, and that really opened my eyes. They're real big in the running game, but they came out throwing the ball deep, and they threw the ball throughout the game," he explained. "I talked to coach (Gus) Malzahn after the game, and he made me feel like I was at home. Auburn is No. 1 on my list."

Another school firmly in the mix for the standout wide receiver's commitment is Ohio State. Craig is a big fan of Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer.

"Ohio State would be next," he stated. "Just growing up and watching them. They were my favorite team. Then you have Urban Meyer. He makes players better people. They have coach (Stan) Drayton, too, and I've built a great relationship with him too. You look at the NFL and see the past couple of years a lot of receivers have gone from Ohio State to the NFL."

Clemson and Louisville follow the Buckeyes and Tigers in his order of schools.

"I talk to a few schools that are fighting for that three or four spot," he continued. "Clemson or Louisville would probably be in those spots."

There's a very good a chance a commitment comes early in the process, but he wants to make sure he evaluates all of his options before pulling the trigger on a commitment.

"I just want to take all of the time and pick the right school. I don't want to make the wrong decision," he said. "I'm the kind of person who wants to commit and stay committed."

There are multiple schools the standout wide receiver would like to check out over the summer.

"This summer I'm trying to get out to Ohio State, Clemson, Tennessee and Louisville," Craig said of his summer visit plans.

A lot of guys like to stay close to home for college, but that isn't the case with Craig as he plans on leaving the state of Florida to play his college football.

"You want to go out and view different parts of the world, and down in Florida I have a lot of friends and family," Craig said. "I'm trying to get away from any potential distractions. I want to be focused and keep my head on right."

When it comes to relationships with the coaches recruiting him a few stand out.

"I've built a good relationship from coach (Dameyune) Craig from Auburn, coach (Bobby) Petrino with Louisville, coach (Robert) Gillespie at Tennessee, and coach Drayton at Ohio State."

Craig really likes Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn and his building a very good relationship with the Tigers' head coach.

"Coach Malzahn is a great guy. He's a very creative coach with his offense. He runs different things and has defenses worried on every play," Craig explained. "They also make me feel very at home when I go there. My mom really likes it too. That would probably be her top school for me. When I sat down with coach Malzahn and his wife they made me feel at home."

With Ohio State his best relationship is with running backs coach Stan Drayton, but he loves Urban Meyer's offense.

"They have a type of offense where they like to get their playmakers the ball, and I feel like I could fit in that very quickly," he said. "I talk him every once in awhile, but I have the best relationship with coach Drayton."

I think a college decision will come over the summer after he takes a couple of visits.

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