INDIANAPOLIS —Isaac Nauta caught 30 of the 31 passes thrown his way last season, the highest catch ratio on the team.
Nauta says more passes will be in the air next season for Georgia, and more good times are ahead for the UGA tight ends.
The Bulldogs have a new offensive coordinator in James Coley, and Nauta said that will translate to more of a passing game next season.
“I think they are going to throw it a lot more with Coach Coley, so I told (Eli Wolf) to be excited about that,” Nauta said Friday at the NFL combine, asked what he told the Tennessee transfer.
“When I declared (for the NFL draft) the tight end room was looking pretty thin, so he’s got an opportunity to play right away and step in and catch a a lot of passes.”
Nauta had already declared himself eligible for the NFL draft when Coley was promoted.
“But if I’m a tight end right now in the Georgia system,” Nauta said Friday at the Indiana Convention Center, “I’d be pretty excited with Coach Coley calling plays.”
Nauta is excited about his NFL draft prospects, too, even though he said the NFL draft advisory board advised he return for his senior season.
“Unless you are a sure-fire first round guy, they typically advise that,” Nauta explained. “Those evaluations are pre-combine, before they get to know you as a person, so there’s a lot of factors that go into it where you can rise from that draft status.
“This was something I felt I was ready to do, and I was ready for the next challenge, so I went ahead and made that decision.”
Nauta said he wants to run in the 4.6-second range in the 40-yard dash on Saturday, when he and departing UGA receivers Riley Ridley, Terry Godwin and Mecole Hardman will be timed in Lucas Oil Stadium.
Georgia football TE Isaac Nauta
Georgia football, 2019 NFL combine