When making one of the most important decisions of your life, it’s important to have some guidelines; a checklist if you will.
That’s exactly what Nate Craig-Myers (6’2”, 205 lbs., Tampa Catholic) has as he prepares to decide where he will be playing college ball and if the Florida Gators football team is that fit.
As one of the nations top wide receivers, he has seen quite the uptick in his recruitment with National Signing Day now less than a month away. The Tampa native was committed to the Auburn Tigers until last summer when he decided to open recruitment back up—at which point the Gators came in hot.
Now he has a few things he’s looking for in all of the schools he is considering.
That list of schools, by the way, includes Ole Miss, North Carolina, Florida, Auburn, Maryland and South Carolina.
One thing he’ll be looking at with each school is the quarterback situation.
“The quarterback does impact me some because I want to know who is going to be throwing to me for the 3-4 years,” Craig-Myers says.
“It’s definitely something I look at one of the most because you don’t want to go to a school where they don’t have a quarterback because that’s not going to benefit you. So I look at who they have coming in in the recruiting class…with them getting Feleipe Franks helps them out a lot. Feleipe is a big body quarterback; a pocket passer and he can make a lot of throws. He can scramble with his legs too. He can get me the ball.”
Feleipe Franks (6’6”, 203 lbs., Wakulla) is a 4-star pro style quarterback and one of the biggest gets in this class so far for Jim McElwain and company as they lured him away from LSU.
He could possibly be joined by another enticing prospect Dwayne Haskins Jr. (6’2”, 188 lbs., Bullis School) a 4-star quarterback from Maryland, committed to the Terps but looking at possibilities. Those possibilities could include Nate Craig-Myers and the Florida Gators.
“You know me and [Dwayne], we trying to look going to the same college but whatever works for both of us,” says Nate.
“He definitely a quarterback that’s gonna put the ball in his playmakers hands.
Which leads to the next thing Nate Craig-Myers is considering; no matter the quarterback, will the school simply need him out there to catch the pass?
As the old saying goes, sometimes it’s just nice to be needed, and Florida is making sure Craig-Myers feels needed in the Swamp.
“Florida, you know Florida, we have a great relationship,” explains Craig-Myers.
“[Wide receivers] Coach Dixon and Coach McElwain. I talk to the staff every, probably every other day. They just tell me I’m one of the top priorities and they need me at receiver…Coach Dixon tells me that I’m his guy. He tells me that I can be that guy that becomes an instate hero that comes in and makes a lot of plays for them. Seeing that they play receivers early is big on me and that’s what he tells me.”
One of the a fore mentioned receivers is freshman Antonio Callaway who set a new Florida Gators football record for the most receiving yards by a true freshman. NCM has spoken more and more of Callaway as the season has progressed, saying after one game that lots of schools will tell you they’ll get it to their playmakers, no matter the age, but Florida shows it’s the truth with Callaway. That assurance is big for Craig-Myers when he starts to consider early playing time.
But there’s one more thing to take into account during this logical and practical breakdown; is there just a pure gut feeling?
“Once I take my official visits, wherever my gut feeling is I want to be—go there and say this is the place for me, that when I step foot on campus that’s where my heart is.”
So far he’s only taken an official visit to North Carolina. He’ll take one to Auburn on January 15th (where he had been previously committed and still maintains a strong relationship with Coach Craig) and another to Ole Miss on the 29th. He has no plans to take official visits instate but says he’ll take an unofficial visit to Gainesville sometime in January. This will be in addition to the three he took during football season.
As for that gut feeling, Craig-Myers says it has come around a few times already.
“Definitely Auburn and North Carolina, and Florida and Florida State. (laughs) Four of them made me feel that way and the others I haven’t been able to go visit them yet.”
Now the question remains, which school can put those three things together?
A quarterback, playing time and a gut feeling of being right.
That’s what Nate Craig-Myers wants in a school.