Graphic Edit: Logan French; Photo Credit: USA Today Sports
* Note: This story was published in August, back when Green made his commitment official. We are re-publishing it on National Signing Day
- - -
The No. 1 athlete in the Class of 2021 has made his decision.
Borah (ID) High School senior Nathan Green on Saturday night announced his commitment to the University of Washington.
Green's decision continues a strong track record of blue-chip recruits under Andy and Maurica Powell in recent years with the Huskies. The Powells took over Washington's men's and women's program in 2018 after distinguished success leading the distance events at the University of Oregon.
While Green is the first main domino to fall for the Powell's in the men's class, the duo has seen massive success over the past two recruiting cycles, gaining signatures from the likes of Leo Daschbach, the 11th high schooler to break four minutes in the mile; Cruz Culpepper, who ran 4:00.10 indoors and 1:48.50 outdoors; and a 2019 class that included Samuel Affolder, Daniel Maton and Joe Waskom.
While Green was unable to get an official visit on the Seattle campus, he had little hesistation about the program.
"I think I knew early in the summer," Green said by phone. "I kind of new awhile ago. But I just needed to get a feel for the team more than anything ... It was less about the campus and more about the people."
Green chose the Huskies over Oklahoma State University and Northern Arizona University.
"I was pretty picky from the get-go about schools," Green said. "I didn't want to go too far east and I didn't want to go somewhere too hot. I wanted to go somewhere close to the Northwest and be close to Idaho."
And ultimately, Green said, his connection with coach Andy Powell was one of the biggest factors in determining his decision.
"When you talk with Andy, I don't know how to describe it but he talks to you more as a human than as a runner," Green said. "It's 'Yeah, I know what we can do and what we're trying to do, but who are you and how do you fit with this team?'"
In absence of an official or unofficial visit, Green relied heavily on understanding the culture of Washington's program through multiple Zoom calls. One included his parents, the Powells, Washington's administrators and future teammates.
"It was really cool," he said. "It was a very involved process."
Green's resume is quite impressive, as the Idaho athlete is a five-time IHSAA Class 4A champion across cross country and track and field, a two-time All-American at Team Nationals and a two-time winner at The Simplot Games. He owned a 16-year-old age group record of 4:06.20 in the mile outdoors before Rheinhardt Harrison broke it in August.
While Green had his junior season erased due to a spring largely controlled by precautions over the spread of COVID-19, he put down personal best outdoor times of 3:53.16 for 1,500m, 4:11.76 for 1,600m, and 9:14.69 for 3,200m as a sophomore. He also ran a 2K steeplechase best of 6:06.72.
Indoors in 2020, Green produced a US No. 4 mile time of 4:09.45 and a 3,200m career best of 8:57.80, also a US No. 4 mark.
In cross country, Green overcame a rare heart condition in his junior season, going on to score a personal best of 15:00.24 for 5K and his second-straight All-American placement at Team Nationals. He was the top returner to the national meet before it was cancelled ahead of the cross country season.