Football star has eyes on tight end position with Western Oregon University Wolves

COURTESY: JOHN BREWINGTON - Gavin Larson speeds up the field with a reception for the Scappoose Indians.Gavin Larson is part of the 32-man class of incoming football players at Western Oregon in Monmouth.

Larson played a key role both on offense and defense last season. He was a wide receiver and defensive end as Scappoose qualified for the state playoffs in its first year up from 4A. He earned all-league honors on defense (first team) and offense (honorable mention). The Indians were second in the West Division at 5-1 and went 8-3 overall, reaching the quarterfinals before falling 21-14 at Pendleton.

Larson is ticketed to play on offense for Western Oregon — the only question is whether he lines up wide or as a tight end. He'd prefer to be a tight end.

"It will depend on what kind of weight I can put on, and how fast," says the 6-6, 195-pounder. "I'll need to add about 20 pounds for wide receiver and 30 to 40 for tight end."

Why tight end?

"I liked being on the D-line in high school, and I feel like (tight end) is going to fit me best. I feel like I'd be a really good tight end," says Larson, listing New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski as someone he likes to watch play. "With my shoulders and how tall I am, I feel like I can grow into being a tight end."

WOU had a 5-6 record in 2018.

The Wolves' 15th-year coach, Arne Ferguson, says he scoured the Northwest during the recruiting period, looking for players who are "mentally and physically tough as well as guys that love to play football."

Larson says the Wolves were in touch with him "throughout the season," and he had a positive official visit to the Monmouth campus.

"I'm a small-town kid, and I just got the small-town college school feel there. And I feel that's going to fit me best," he says.

He hopes to study business at Western Oregon, which has about 5,400 students.

Football wasn't always Larson's favorite sport.

"I thought baseball was my thing till about freshman year," he says. "Then I came to Scappoose (High) and met the football coaches and fell in love with football."

He hopes to play baseball this spring for Scappoose, probably suiting up behind the plate for new coach Cameron Webb.

Larson's football career began as a seventh-grader, playing outside linebacker and wide receiver. He is one of 15 WOU signees from Oregon (nine others come from Washington, seven from Washington and one from Arizona).

The Wolves' 11-game 2019 season will start on Sept. 5 at Angelo State.

Larson plans to report the first week of August for preseason practices.

"I'm excited to go someplace new and show them what I can do," he says.

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