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July 12, 2011Nic Wisor's offseason development is forcing Gary Jeffers to rethink his offense.
Wisor's training regime has transformed the raw, lean receiver into a more muscular and athletic tight end prospect.
It's made Jeffers think harder about his offense at Puyallup High School as he looks to this season. Wisor, at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, could be a significant offensive weapon for the Vikings.
"His development has been a little bit of a pleasant surprise," Jeffers said. "We knew last year at the end of the season that we had a tall, rangy kid who had some potential."
But that was 25 pounds ago.
Wisor has trained regularly with his high school teammate and friend Joshua Garnett, who is one of the nation's top offensive line prospects. Wisor is part of an off-season workout group that includes Pac-12 offensive line prospects Zach Banner of Lakes, Walker Williams of Tacoma Baptist, Scott Rose of White River and Garnett of Puyallup. Former Washington Huskies defensive lineman Scott Garnett, Joshua's father, helps guide the athletes in their weight training and other strength and conditioning drills, which take place at the Competitive Edge in Puyallup.
Wisor has blossomed.
"It's actually been great for me," said Wisor. "It's gotten me so much better and faster and stronger. My confidence is up. Josh has been helping me a lot with the recruiting process."
Wisor made arguably the best catch of the entire Nike football camp at the University of Washington last month. With the ball thrown over his back shoulder, Wisor turned, leaped and stretched out to catch the ball while keeping his feet inbounds in the end zone despite tight coverage. Players hollered in approval.
"I obviously came out here to see how I stacked up against the best guys," Wisor said at the time. "I felt pretty good about my performance."
Since the Seattle camp, Wisor spent 10 days on the East Coast, scouting out prospective colleges. He has a 3.7 grade-point average and has attracted the interest of Ivy League schools.
Wisor attended football camps on the campuses of Yale and Harvard and also visited Princeton, Penn and the University of Rochester (N.Y.).
"That was the first time I've ever been over there," Wisor said. "It was really nice. They're all really nice schools. It helped me out figure out my preference and what I'm looking for."
Wisor (pronounced WISE-er) found that he likes the college town sort of atmosphere. So far, Wisor hasn't received interest from the University of Washington or other Pac-12 schools but figures that might have had to do with him waiting till his junior year to devote himself to the game. Only this spring and summer did he start showcasing his physical abilities (he has a standing broad jump of 9 feet, 3 inches) and marketing himself at spring and summer football camps.
Still, he's a late bloomer. Jeffers envisions larger schools getting involved in the recruiting picture once the Puyallup season gets underway and recruiters get a glimpse of his athleticism for a player his size.
With Garnett next to him, Wisor will have plenty of folks watching.
"I think a lot of it will depend on his production," Jeffers said. "Sometimes kids who don't have big junior years get lost. We are planning on featuring him as a receiver and trying to get the ball to him as many times as we can.
"I'm not sure he's fast enough to be an outside or inside receiver at the Division I level," added Jeffers, pointing to Wisor's 4.68-second time in the 40-yard dash. "But I can see him developing into a receiving tight end. I can see him being a 6-5, 240-pound kid at some level."
Puyallup will break in a new quarterback in Trevor Lyon this fall. Jeffers sees Wisor getting action at receiver and the new spot, tight end.
"We're going to use him at both spots," Jeffers said. "I want to give him a chance to play that spot, which is why we're doing it. He's a great vertical threat down the middle of the field. If we get him a little faster, he's going to create problems for people."