Photo by Christopher Duclos
Ballard Senior Nate Rauda signs his national letter of intent to attend Central Washington University’s football program.

BHS Wide Receiver Nate Rauda to take his Athleticism to Ellensburg

By Christopher Duclos

It's official, Nate Rauda has given his verbal commitment to play college at the next level. Among schools looking to him for his football talents, he has chosen Central Washington University. His announcement was made on Jan. 28 via his own twitter account.

Upon the morning of his signing Rauda had this to offer on his signing -- “It feels great to be a Wildcat and to finally be done with this recruiting stuff. I finally found a place that I could go to school and that feels good.”

His hard work during the course of his senior season paid off. Rauda was attempting to make a comeback from a junior campaign in which he was dealing with a broken leg, causing him to miss most of the season.

Ballard News-Tribune had the opportunity to interview Nate in late September of 2012.

No other teammate came close in number of tackles he totaled on defense with 98. He also had a pair of turnovers, an interception and a fumble recovery. On the offensive score sheet, Rauda was quarterback Johnny Verduin's favorite target. Rauda totaled 829 receiving yards on 45 receptions, averaging 18.42 yards per catch. Nate's name was heard a lot on offense, scoring touchdowns on 7 out of 10 games during the season.

His mother Sue Rauda had this to offer about his recent commit: “They love him over there. He did have several D1 offers, but they were all on a walk-on basis. He really wants to play so this seems to fit him well.”

Rauda’s longtime friend and teammate Max Marshall reflected on Rauda's accomplishment, saying, “I’m really proud of him right now. It all started when we were playing tackle football in his living room then we grew up and had these few years at Ballard. He’s going to take on this big opportunity at Central and make this Ballard community proud.”

Rauda was one of three Ballard players to be named as one of the top players in the conference. A feat that is hard to earn considering the competitive difficulty of the Kingco 4A conference. Rauda was named first team All-Kingco Wide Reciever as well as 2nd team safety. In addition to his recruitment, CWU has given Nate the chance to choose what position he wants to play.

“Nate Rauda is a dynamic player. Central Washington just got better today. Whatever he chooses to do, offense or defense its going to fit him well. If he plays offense he’s going to be Randy Moss, if he plays defense he’s going to be Ed Reed. He’s kind of like a franchise player, hard worker and just a great kid,” Head football coach Joey Thomas said.

The Central Washington football team is member of the NCAA Division II Great Northwest Athletic Conference, playing their home games at Tomlinson Stadium in Ellensburg, Wash. The Wildcats are currently coached by Blaine Bennett. Despite their division II standing, the team is regarded as one of the more successful college football franchises in the Pacific Northwest. Notable professional CWU alumni include former Pittsburgh Steelers backup and current Canadian football QB Mike Reilly and former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Jon Kitna (1996).

Christopher Duclos is the sports writer for BNT you can follow him on twitter @thechrisduclos

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