Peninsula High senior Reece Johnson played on both sides of the football in high school, but he’ll be playing exclusively on the offensive line at the next level.
The versatile 6-foot-3, 265-pound tackle inked his letter of intent last week as part of Signing Day festivities to play at Central Washington University.
“It’s a home away from home, I felt on my visit,” Johnson said. “It felt like the right fit for me. I can get far enough away where I feel away from home, but at the same time I can come back and see Fish Bowl or whatever on my weekend. Ultimately, I just fell in love with Central.”
Johnson will likely redshirt his freshman season but once he sees the field, he projects to either play left or right tackle.
“They like me at tackle, on either side, due to my athleticism and length,” Johnson said. “They have bigger guys on the inside.”
Central, which competes in the Division-II in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, went 5-5 last season and 3-3 in conference. Head coach Ian Shoemaker will be in his third season at the helm of the Wildcat program next season, and Johnson likes the direction the program is headed in and the approach the coaches are taking in recruiting.
“They’ve brought in a lot of good players from Washington,” Johnson said. “A few Oregon guys. Mostly all Washington and Oregon guys. They brought in a lot of guys I’ve played against and heard about and I really look forward to playing with them.”
Johnson, who plans to study either sports management or exercise science, enjoyed the Ellensburg campus when he took his official visit in January, after being offered on Jan. 14.
“It’s a family-like atmosphere,” he said. “I met a lot of people on my visit. They were very welcoming; everyone said hello. I really like that. The campus is pretty nice, I like the residence halls and just how everything is organized.”
Johnson said he’s excited to get on the field, whether that’s next season or the season after.
“I’m just excited to get back out there at this point and continue my career,” he said. “I’m happy I get the chance to do that.”
Gig Harbor High School had several football players sign their official letters of intent last week as well. Senior quarterback Davis Alexander signed with Portland State, wide receiver Kyle Olson-Urbon signed with Eastern Washington, receiver Noah Samsen signed with Simon Fraser University, lineman Nate Younk signed with Montana Tech and Sean Reemts signed with Northern Colorado.
Gig Harbor and Peninsula high schools will have signing days later in the school year for athletes who will be playing other sports at the next level.