OL Nate Vander Pol Update

Nate Vander Pol has been doing some work this summer, and the 6'5", 290-pound senior lineman from Federal Way, Washington knows that this fall will make or break his Division-1 recruitment. It's that knowledge that has him pushing his physical limits.

"I've been doing a lot of lifting, speed work and conditioning," Vander Pol told Dawgman.com yesterday. "I wanted to do a lot of work on leg strength this summer, so I did squats, stuff like that."

He also recently found out that he'll be one of Federal Way's captains this fall, a role he takes a lot of pride in. "It's a really important thing for me," he said. "I have to be the one that sets examples for the younger players on and off the field. I'm the one that's supposed to be counted on."

He's also been spending some time getting acquainted with some of the colleges that have been recruiting him the hardest. "I went to the U-Dub camp and also our team camp at Western (Washington University). It was the second time I'd been up to Western with our team. It was a lot of fun. It was great to be around the team. I was at the U-Dub camp for two days, so I could split that time at the Oregon camp too. That way I got two days at Washington and two days at Oregon. The U-Dub camp was really cool. It was great to see the coaches up close and watch them coach. I was really able to get a feel for what they are like."

And his experience in Oregon? "I had a lot of fun at Oregon," Nate said. "I got to work a lot with the Oregon coaches and also got a feel for the campus. I also went to one of their scrimmages in the spring, where I was able to take a tour of the campus, but I didn't get a chance to play in their stadium like I did at camp."

Nate noticed that the coaching at Washington and Oregon is quite similar to the coaching he gets at Federal Way. "Well, they are pretty similar to what I've seen," he said. "They are intense and want you to work really hard. But most coaches are like that."

Did he notice any difference between the field turf that is used at Husky Stadium as opposed to the new NexTurf surface that was recently put into Autzen Stadium? "I couldn't really tell a lot of difference between the two," Nate said, but added, "I did notice that the stuff that the Oregon turf uses has white stuff that comes up out of it. That's the only thing I noticed that was different."

Even though coaches can't call recruits until September, Vander Pol's mail has been littered with postmarks from all over the West Coast. "I've been getting some things from UCLA, Oregon, ASU, CAL, a little bit from U-Dub," Nate said. "Mostly the Pac-10. Outside the Pac, Nate's been hearing from Montana and Boise State

When it comes to location, Vander Pol has a general idea of where he wants to play. "I definitely want to stay on the West Coast."

He's still searching for that elusive first offer, but feels like it will come soon after his first few games. "I've been hearing a lot from coaches that have been saying they want to see film of my early games before they decide to offer me a scholarship," Nate said. "Washington State, Oregon and UCLA have all said that. U-Dub too. That's what Coach (Randy) Hart told me at their camp."

While Nate listed his top-5 as being Washington, Oregon, UCLA, Arizona State and Washington State, it's pretty obvious talking to him that the first three are nearest and dearest to his heart right now. Here's what he had to say about each university:

Washington - "Well, they are close to home and I have a lot of family here. I've been a Husky fan all of my life, and it would be cool to get a chance to play there. I like the coaches a lot. I think the stadium is awesome, and I think the campus is really nice too."

Oregon - "A lot of the same things. I like the Ducks too. I really like their coach, Zoomer (OL Coach Neal Zoumboukos), and they have great facilities. I really like Eugene too. It's a nice town."

UCLA - "Well, the location is great. It's by all those beaches. The school is really beautiful too. I got a chance to check everything out last spring when I went down to see one of their scrimmages."

We'll be in touch with Nate later this fall for another update.

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