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July 12, 2014
Showtime: TE hits reality show
JACKSONVILLE -- When Isaac Nauta's sister set him up with a date recently, he knew it wasn't your typical first-date situation. The girl was Savannah Chrisley, who stars in the USA Network reality show "Chrisley Knows Best," which features her father, Atlanta-based millionaire Todd Chrisley and his family. Nauta was to be a guest at Savannah's birthday party.
While Nauta, a class of 2016 tight end from Buford (Ga.), was aware of the show, he didn't know what to expect.
"Pretty much all I knew was there were going to be cameras there and I might end up getting in a shot," Nauta said.
Turned out to be more than a shot. When he arrived at Savannah's party, he was held back by the camera crew and mic'd up. From there he played a prominent role in the episode, even earning the nickname "The Buford Bison" from the party's attendees.
After the episode aired, it did not go over well for Nauta when he returned to school.
"I got a lot of crap," the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Nauta said. "Everyone was like, 'What's up, Buford Bison?' I really didn't intend to be what I ended up being on that show, so it's kind of funny how it all turned out."
Nauta's sudden claim to fame was also a talking point with college coaches during the recruiting process.
"A lot of the Georgia coaches knew because a lot of their wives watch the show, apparently," Nauta said. "And they were like, 'Aren't you recruiting that kid right there?'"
Actually, there are quite a few coaches recruiting Nauta at the moment. He currently has nearly 30 offers from some of the nation's top programs. His top three schools are Florida State, South Carolina and Ole Miss. He's also considering Georgia, Auburn and LSU.
Nauta said he's already received offers from the schools he's truly interested in and is working toward a decision.
"I'm really trying to narrow it down after this fall and I'm going to end up committing in the spring," said Nauta, who plans on graduating in December, 2016.
His current favorite, Florida State, has his attention because of Seminoles tight ends coach Tim Brewster's history of producing tight ends.
"I love Coach Brewster," Nauta said. "He's developed some great tight ends from Antonio Gates to Nick O'Leary, who had a huge year last year. They run a pro-style offense, so it's the perfect offense for a tight end."
Two SEC teams - the Rebels and Gamecocks - also headline his choices at this point.
"Ole Miss is on the rise," Nauta said. "I like that it's a laid-back college town and I like (tight ends coach Maurice Harris) and (head coach Hugh Freeze). Then at South Carolina, (tight ends coach G.A. Mangus) is also the quarterbacks coach, so we're always in there with the quarterbacks looking for ways to get the tight end the ball. Their stadium speaks for itself."
Whichever school he decides on, his future in college football looks bright. His future as a reality TV star, on the other hand, looks pretty grim.
"It was a cool experience and all, but the whole reality show life isn't for me," he said.
Adam Krohn is a Southeast Region football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.