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Nall signs on with Beavers

The Central Catholic standout is set to play next season at Oregon State


by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: DAN BROOD - Central Catholic running back Ryan Nall breaks free during a playoff game last fall. Before Oregon State offered a scholarship, the best offers for Sandy resident and Central Catholic football player Ryan Nall were from Wyoming and Portland State.

When it's said and done, Nall could be the biggest steal since Russia sold Alaska to the United States for 5 cents per hectare.

The 6-3, 230-pound Nall rushed for 1,684 yards (13.2 average) and 22 touchdowns. He was at his best in the Class 6A championship game, rushing for 196 yards and three touchdowns and coming up with a key interception in the Rams' 38-28 victory over Jesuit. That came after a 320-yard, four-TD performance in an 83-49 blitzing of Tigard in the semifinals.

"That was insane," Nall says with a laugh.

Nall burst onto the scene as a senior, perhaps a reason why he was under-recruited on a team blessed with FBS-caliber players in Connor Humphreys and Cameron Scarlett. Does Nall consider himself a late-bloomer?

"I think so," he says. "I swung between JVs and varsity as a sophomore. My junior year, I was a starter, but we had a lot of D-I guys, so I wasn't one of the main people on the team. This year, I felt like I was one of the major-impact guys. I was able to help my team on both sides of the ball."

Nall lists several reasons why he chose the Beavers.

"I know coaches shouldn't be my No. 1 reason, but they had a huge impact," he says. "They were pretty cool. I like the staff and the style they use, and Coach (Mike) Riley seems like a great guy. It's going to be fun to play for him.

"Oregon State is close to home. It's a program I'm familiar with, and they have a good program. And really, the education comes first. It's going to be a great place to go to school."

Nall, a 2.8 student who has already passed his SAT, says he will take the test again "to try to boost it up as much as I can." He hasn't decided on a major but wants something to help him get into the sports management business.

Nall has an unusual combination of size -- OSU coaches project him to get to at least 250 -- and speed. His best time in the 40-yard dash is 4.55 seconds, which he showed in full bloom against Tigard, running past defensive backs for touchdowns of 96, 79 and 67 yards.

OSU coaches project Nall, who played running back and outside linebacker at Central Catholic, as a tight end/H-back.

"Sounds good to me," he says. "I'll play whatever they want, but I'd prefer to play offense, especially after this season, having the ball in my hands a lot and scoring a whole bunch of times. It's motivated me to want to work on my skills as an offensive player. I could see myself being successful in (the Beavers') offense."

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Twitter: @kerryeggers