In-state Double Trouble high on Cougs

WASHINGTON STATE'S SUMMER YOUTH CAMP this June drew talented prospects from across the West Coast and Canada. Two who stood out were Matt and Zach Johnson. The twin prospects out of Tumwater, Wash., play safety in high school but will move up closer to the line of scrimmage at the next level. At the Cougar youth camp, the duo took home linebacker co-MVP awards.

The twins, Zach (6-1, 205, 4.6) and Matt (6-1, 203, 4.7), showed up at the Washington State camp as defensive backs. They left as linebackers. Coach Leon Burtnett, moved them to outside 'backer position not long after they took the field.

"I love WSU, it's my first choice by far," said Matt, prior to an Oregon State unofficial this week. "The coach spent a lot of time talking to us. It was a lot of fun, I liked him. He was a real nice guy."

"They're the leader for me," added Zach, also before the OSU trip. "We hope to go together but we're not a package deal. But it would be nice. They figure we'll get a little bigger. Coach Burtnett is real cool -- I liked the coaches a whole bunch, coach (Ken) Greene. We really liked the campus a lot."

IN ADDITION TO the Washington State campus, the rural charms of the Palouse were not lost on the pair.

"We're not 'big-city' guys," said Zach. "The campus, the coaching staff, the town, the weight room were all great."

Matt said he'd emailed and left a message for WSU recruiting coordinator Greg Peterson recently.

"They said they want to see us on tape for our first two games and they'll keep in touch," said Matt.

Other schools of interest include Oregon State, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Montana State, UCLA and "a bunch" of Ivy League schools.

THE BEAVERS in particular are showing increased interest of late, with Zach and Matt invited down by coach Mike Riley and staff for a Beavers' practice on Tuesday.

"They said that they would like for us to come up to a couple of games and are very interested in us," said Matt. "Me and my brother both liked Corvallis a lot, liked the drive, the campus, loved the coaches and everything down there."

The pair also took in the OSU camp this summer.

"We've gone there for camp a couple years," said Zach. "I liked the coaches, and the town and area is kind of what we're used to."

Matt Johnson profile
Zach Johnson profile

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