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Conner Noah, Kelso 2023 running back, commits to Nevada football: 'I just loved the energy'

Noah first turned heads at an out-of-season scrimmage, before the 5-11, 200 pound back had made much of an impact on the high school stage due to COVID-19

Conner Noah had a pretty good idea he wanted to make Nevada his college of choice, but needed to visit first to seal the deal.

When he attended the Wolfpack spring football game last weekend with his parents and older brother Riley Noah, who was also a multi-sport standout at Kelso, he was impressed by the facilities, his interactions with coaches, and most importantly, the hospitality.

"The whole new coaching staff was super cool and welcoming to my family and I," Conner Noah said.

He was also encouraged by Nevada's desire to incorporate him as a part of their run scheme. That's why he committed to Nevada on Sunday at the end of his visit to Reno.

He's the fifth Wolfpack commit in the class of 2023 and the first from Washington. He'll join two fellow Washington natives in running back Jacques Badolato-Birdsell (Camas) and defensive lineman Dwight Togoila (Timberline).

Before he stood 5-foot-11, 200-pounds and impressed Nevada coaches with his size in-person, he was a relatively unknown prospect whose sophomore football season was delayed until the spring and shortened in the COVID-19 pandemic.

He turned heads when he broke off a 70-yard run in one of the first plays from scrimmage in an all-star showcase that featured many of the state's top unsigned football talent in late May of 2021.

In the fall, Noah was named first team all-3A Greater St. Helens League after helping the Hilanders reach the Class 3A state playoffs.

(RELATED: Kelso running back a bright spot in Heir-FSP scrimmage)

Nevada coaches recruited him through two coaching staffs. Running backs coach Vai Taua was on Jay Norvell's staff and stayed on with new coach Ken Wilson when Norvell left for Colorado State in December. He recruited Noah for around two years and eventually offered him in early March.

"I just loved the energy and how they played, the coaches, the energy coach Vai had really excited me to make my decision," Conner Noah said.

If he was looking for validation from his family, he found it. Riley Noah, a two-time 3A Greater St. Helens League defensive MVP who played a season at Central Washington, told him it was an opportunity too good to pass up. He also held an offer from Army. 

Kelso coach Steve Amrine feels Conner Noah's involvement in out-of-season camps, showcases and 7-on-7 helped get him noticed, especially when high school football options were limited.

"We think we have another couple on our roster too," Amrine said. It just accentuates everything, that we're doing things right."

Lead photo by Vince Miller