Kaneland senior Dylan Nauert called St. Cloud State football assistant coach Mitchell Kleinschrodt on Saturday night to offer his verbal commitment, and Nauert said Kleinschrodt "just went nuts. It was awesome."
By now, Nauert is growing accustomed to Cloud-Nine reactions related to his choice of school. He received similar feedback from Kaneland football teammate and best friend Gary Koehring, who had earlier committed to the Division II power in central Minnesota.
Nauert, a receiver, and Koehring, a linebacker, sat next to each other on bus rides to away games throughout their accomplished Kaneland careers.
"[Koehring] was so pumped. He was very excited we get to room together for the next five years," said Nauert, who anticipates a redshirt season.
Nauert had given St. Cloud serious consideration since a visit last summer but had more to decide on than which school to attend; he also had to decide on his college sport of choice.
In addition to being a slick, slot receiver in football, the Sugar Grove resident is also an excellent track and field athlete. He anchored Kaneland's Class 2A second-place state 4x400 relay team last year and also excels in hurdles events.
Nauert said he's not ruling out trying to compete in both at some point in college but he's going to start by focusing on football.
"Football has the team aspect and getting to be almost like a family with everyone on the team," Nauert said. "It's a cool feeling. It's a once-in-a lifetime thing."
Nauert plans to study public relations, saying "I'm kind of a people-pleaser." In addition to St. Cloud's football prowess – the Huskies advance to the D-II quarterfinals last year – he also was sold on the campus.
"Everything was really nice, not beat up or anything," Nauert said. "It was a really nice, new, modern campus."
Nauert will carry on a family tradition of competing collegiately. His late father, Daniel Nauert, played college baseball at downstate Monmouth. Nauert said his father – who died in 2012 – "always told me I had a special ability when it came to athletics. Going [to St. Cloud], I know he'd be very proud of me."
Nauert's mother, Dawn, is a teacher and steered Nauert through the academic side of the recruiting process.
"It's going to be awesome getting to take the step from this level to the college level, and hopefully make everyone in my family proud," Nauert said.
• Jay Schwab a sports editor with Shaw Media. He can be reached at 630-845-5382 or firstname.lastname@example.org.