3-star OT Jonathan Nathaniel is high on Cougs headed into official visit; Ranked No. 10 o-tackle prospect in the West

A LONG AND LEAN 3-star offensive line prospect out of Chandler, Ariz., visits Washington State this weekend. Jonathan Nathaniel might be something of a new name for followers of Cougar recruiting, but the No. 10-ranked offensive tackle in the West has been firmly in the orbit of the Cougar coaches for a long time.

No doubt about it.  Jonathan Nathaniel (6-6, 260) out of Basha High is feelin’ WSU heading into the recruiting homestretch.

“Washington State was my first Pac-12 offer and that was huge to me. Washington State also runs a (very similar offense) to us so that’s attractive too. They’ve been on my mind for a long time … for the most part I’ve kinda been leaning towards them my whole recruiting process,” Nathaniel told CF.C.

Mike Leach during his time at WSU has shown a penchant for bringing in athletic, rangy offensive linemen and then putting the pounds on them once they get into the program -- Andre Dillard being one example.  Nathaniel is cut from the same cloth.

“They really like my frame,” said Nathaniel. “They like how I pass block because they run the Air Raid offense, I’d say my pass pro is one of the things that really attracted them to me. The offense we run at our school, we call it the Bear Raid, it’s pretty much the (same) as the Air Raid

“They like how athletic I am and then they like the frame that I have, I have a lot of potential to put on some good size. Mostly they like my motor, my habits on the field and my athletic ability.”

Nathaniel said Cougar o-line coach Clay McGuire is primarily running the point on his recruitment.

“I talk to Coach McGuire 2-3 times a week … He’s pretty much the coach who is doing the recruiting on me,” said Nathaniel.

Nathaniel said the official visit to WSU will be his first and only one of the recruiting season. There had been some qualification concerns earlier, Nathaniel said, but he’s feeling confident they’ve now been squared away.

“Some of the schools fell off on me … but I just finished taking my finals today, and I should be able to qualify once I get these test scores in … Washington State has kept recruiting me since Day One since they gave me the offer about 1 ½ years ago.  (Ever since) I’ve talked to someone at Washington State once, maybe even twice a week and even more now,” said Nathaniel.

Once he gets out on the Palouse this weekend, Nathaniel said he’s really looking forward to talking to the Cougar players and getting the lay of the land.

“My questions will probably be more for the players to see how they feel about the program (and) to make sure I’ll be able fit in and be ready to get better at football,” said Nathaniel.

Nathaniel will have an in-home visit with WSU later this week.  He was a first team All-6A conference selection for his work on the offensive line this past season.

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