INDIAN HEAD, Md. — Nathan Proctor is a big-time prospect.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound outside linebacker has a four-star rating from 247 Sports and has collected over 30 Division-I college scholarships, and not just from the bottom rungs, either. Pitt, Miami, Tennessee, West Virginia, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Penn State, Ole Miss, UCLA, Syracuse, Missouri and his home state school of Maryland are among the power-five schools that have given him an offer, and that’s not an exhaustive list.
You wouldn’t know it to talk to him. Proctor is quiet and unassuming, with just the hint of the ability that he possesses on the football field shining through. He’s quiet and unassuming, answering most questions with a simple, “Yes, sir.”
It’s the personality of his adoptive home town, of just under 4,000 people, as well. Located just about 30 miles south of Washington, D.C. on the Potomac River, it’s the kind of place where people put down roots, and Proctor’s father is one of those people, having gone to a neighboring high school.
It’s the kind of place where public high school football is a big deal, too. Closer to D.C., the prep scene is dominated by big-name private schools like Archbishop Carroll, DeMatha Catholic and St. John’s.
But down in Charles County, it’s about the game and the community, and that’s what Proctor found when he transferred there after his freshman season. It’s a lot like many places in Western Pennsylvania in that aspect, and don’t take my word for it. Henry E. Lackey High School head coach Josh Lush is something of an expert. Born in the Lehigh Valley of Eastern Pa., Lush went to college at Pitt and coached at McKeesport for a season, serving under legendary coach George Smith.
“Where we’re at is as close to Western Pa. football as you can get,” Lush said. “These kids parents went here. Everybody’s from here, which I really like. You get that home-grown feeling.”
Lush, who has a pair of Pitt banners on the walls of his office, hasn’t necessarily put his finger on the scale when it comes to Proctor’s recruitment, but he did take him on a visit to the Steel City with two of Proctor’s teammates to see the sights beyond the campus tour. Lush thinks Pitt has a good chance with Proctor, but there are other schools hotly pursuing him. Penn State, Virginia Tech and Ole Miss are other current frontrunners, although that list has changed several times over the last few months. Proctor says he’s looking for the right fit, much in the way things fit for him at Lackey.
“[I look for] the way the coaches interact with the players and how serious they are the academics,” he said. “It’s not just about football.”
With Lackey’s season ending a few weeks ago and the open contact period beginning, the recruiting has heated up. Proctor has official visits scheduled to Ole Miss, Penn State, UCLA and Virginia Tech in November and early December.
Update 12/1 12:02 p.m: After a visit with Pitt’s coaching staff, Proctor is now planning on taking an official visit to Pitt during the first weekend in January.
He’s also running track this spring, competing in the 55 meters and the 4 x 200 and 4 x 400 meter relays.
“Last year was my first year and I was just running to see if I beat some people,” Proctor said. He couldn’t recall his times and when asked if he did indeed beat some people, he just responded with a smile and another “yes, sir.”
According to athletic.net, his personal record in the 55 meters — about 60 yards — is 6.83 seconds. That’s a 4.5-second 40-yard dash just doing the math. That’s getting there in a hurry for a linebacker and it’s no wonder that so many schools are looking into the talented prospect.
But he’s not in a big hurry to make his decision. He’s going to take his visits, possibly schedule a fifth one and make his commitment when he’s found the fit he’s been looking for.