State's top prospect has Beavs' attention

THE ODDS-ON CHOICE for the state of Oregon's top prospect in 2008 is a 6-4.5, 260-pound d-lineman -- a position Oregon State looks to have a need at this class. How large is his potential? The Portland wrecking ball could be the state's top prospect in several years, is receiving national attention and already has five offers in his back pocket. One of those full rides is from the Beavs.

In addition to OSU, Lincoln High's Ethan Johnson holds scholarship offers from Auburn, Notre Dame, Colorado and Oregon. Both OSU and Oregon offered Johnson after his sophomore season, when he showed off a rare combination of size, speed and strength at the schools' summer youth camps.

"I think they're (all) looking at me more for defensive end than defensive tackle, but I'm not really sure," said Johnson.

JOHNSON SAID he doesn't think distance will be much of a factor in his decision, although he naturally is most familiar with the two in-state schools.

"Oh yeah, I've visited Corvallis and Eugene a lot," said Johnson. "I didn't grow up as a fan of any one school, though, I just love football."

Assistant coach Nigel Burton is running the point for Oregon State, while Neal Zoumboukos is recruiting Johnson for the Ducks.

"I like (both of) them, but I haven't made any favorites or anything yet," said Johnson. "Oregon, it's a nice place and it's a good football team. And I like that Oregon State is a team on the up and up, they beat a lot of teams last year -- and in my year, I think they're going to be losing quite a bit of d-linemen. Hopefully, if I went there, I'd be able to get a spot early."

JOHNSON'S CAMP PLANS have yet to be decided but some junior days are tentatively penciled in. USC is one of the Pac-10 schools making a decided early recruiting push.

"I haven't scheduled anything yet but I might be going down for USC's junior day, and then I'm pretty sure I'll be going to Oregon's junior day and Oregon State's junior day," said Johnson.

JOHNSON WAS A force last season, racking up appx. 80 tackles and 10 sacks in 2006. Among his post season awards, Johnson was named his league's Defensive Player of the Year his junior campaign.

He is also a track and field standout in the shot, discus and javelin.

Ethan Johnson profile

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