Junior to watch - Nate Johnson

Nate Johnson is a 6-3, 240-pound athlete from Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes, and Nate is arguably the top tight end in the state of Washington and even the Pacific Northwest. But will Nate end up on the offensive side of the ball? That's yet to be seen, but one thing is for sure - he's getting a lot of attention from colleges all over the country.

"One thing I know, I'm always close to the play," Nate told TheInsiders. "I'm always right there and have a good sense of where the ball is. I had 7 fumble recoveries in 2002. I guess I'm always at the right place at the right time. I don't really have a preference for where I play. Offense and defense are at opposite sides of the spectrum. I just want to play.

"I've heard that Montana likes me on defense and Coach (Dave) Miller thinks that defense might be in my future, but I just do whatever I can."

Johnson runs a 4.8 40, benches 315 and squats 400. He's been doing some field events for the Lancers this spring, the first year he's done so. "I'm doing track," he said. "I've thrown the shot 41 feet and the javelin 148 feet. I just wanted to try something different."

Letters from colleges have been coming fast and furiously. "Oregon has been sending a lot, as well as Stanford, Northwestern and Colorado," Nate said. His favorites are Oregon, Colorado, Stanford, Montana and Washington. He attended Oregon's and Washington's junior days, and was invited by these schools to attend their days; Michigan State, Stanford, Penn State, Colorado, Vanderbilt and Dartmouth.

Johnson will be visiting Stanford and Oregon State unofficially soon and will also be attending Eugene's Nike camp and Oregon's one-day camp in June. He also plans on going to team camps at Stanford and Colorado if his finals permit, as well as Lakes' team camp at Eastern Washington.

Is it possible Nate could make a quick decision? Only if the circumstances are perfect. "I would really like to focus on my senior season," he said. "If a scholarship came from a school and it would a situation where it would be difficult to pass up, I might take it.

"We'll just see how everything plays out."
Nate Johnson Scout profile

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