Player Spotlight: Nathanael Lohn

Nathanael Lohn's first year at public high school was productive at Staley in Kansas City. He had previously been home-schooled and played for his father's team, Springfield Christian Chargers. Now known as Lighthouse Christian is made up of home-schooled area athletes. Staley, a big Kansas City high school with an enrollment close to 1500 students, was a big adaptation for Lohn.

"For football, the biggest difference between going from home school to public school was the practice time," said Nathanael Lohn. "We practiced three days a week at Springfield Christian to every day at Staley. I felt I showed a lot of improvement with my play of the defensive line with the extra preparation. My hand fighting, breaking containment, and overall knowledge of the game got better with this season."

Lohn, 6-3, 265, put in a sensational junior season at defensive end with 98 tackles, 12 sacks, one pass breakup, and one fumble recovery. He was named Missouri Division 5 1st team All-State.

Lohn's first offer came from Iowa State, then came offers from Stanford, Kansas State, Missouri, Indiana, Minnesota, Northern Illinois, and Iowa. He made visits to Missouri, Iowa State, Kansas State, Stanford, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma.

"I feel very blessed to get to go on these visits," Lohn said. "It's been a pretty awesome experience. I'd like to have a decision made by late August to early September.

"Three different things I look at in a program. First is the academics for sure. I look at what kind of support they have for their players and if the academic programs I'm interested in are ranked and competitive nationally.

"The second thing I consider is the coaching staff. If the coaches care about the players, how I connect with the other players on the team, and if it's a winning program.

"The third thing is the school's atmosphere. How the people are around the university and how the area feels to me."

Lohn states all the schools he's been offered by are equal, but will soon begin looking at each one more critically. Lohn made a visit in early March to Manhattan, Kansas with his parents and girlfriend and liked what he observed.

"I enjoyed the coaches," he said. "The fans were incredible. We went to a basketball game. They played Iowa State, and the fans were very excited and into it. Coach Snyder emphasizes a family atmosphere, and that's very important to me as well. I'm planning on returning April 28th for the spring game."

So far, Lohn's transition from home school to public school has been a smooth one. Staley went 11-3 last season making it to the state semifinals. Lohn's looking forward to one big more season with his Falcon teammates.

"It's been a pretty awesome opportunity for me at Staley," Lohn said. "I lead a Bible study with the other players, and we meet on the 50-yard line. As a senior, I'm hoping to win a state championship. I want to be a team captain, help lead our team, and not miss any tackles."

Lohn comes from a big football family. His uncle, Paul Lohn, played at the University of Houston. His father, David Lohn, and uncle, Dave Dowell, played at Texas A&M. His older brother, Josh, plays at Evangel University in Springfield, Mo.

Lohn is taking advantage of other extracurricular activities offered at Stanley. He was on the wrestling team as well as the track & field team in shot put and discus. He ran a 4.8 40 at a NUC combine in Dallas. He reports a 3.87 GPA in the classroom and considering pursing a degree in Meteorology in college. He wears No. 55 for the Staley Falcons.

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