cheap custom football jersey A lot will be different for PSU
Meet the no name Vikings.
Coach Bruce Barnum is rightly playing up the unknown and unsung angle as the Viks open spring practice this week. PSU is coming off a 3 8 season with no big names on the back of its jerseys.
The Vikings do have lots of players who will be vying for starting jobs and playing time it just that the coaches aren sure yet who will wind up throwing the ball, carrying the ball, catching the ball and, in some cases, defending when the other team has the ball.
“There going to be more evaluation this spring than in probably any year I can remember,” says Barnum, who is entering his third season as head coach and eighth year with the program.
After dropping five close games in the fourth quarter or overtime in 2016, “I need to know who we can rely on,” Barnum says.
One thing he knows: He won be able to rely on some returning superstars.
“We don have any,” Barnum says. “But at our team meeting Sunday night I told everyone, magic about our team is we not a bunch of five star recruits.
How that again?
“Take our wide receiver position,” Barnum says. “I have some guys who can jump, some guys who can go across the middle, some guys who are good route runners they all are good at something. If I put them all together, I can give you a five star position with a bunch of mullets.”
That basically what Portland State did two years ago, when the Vikings shocked the college football ranks by going 9 3, making the top 10 in the national rankings and reaching the second round of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.
That season, some players emerged as individual standouts. One was safety Patrick “Peanut” Onwuasor, who became an All American and a finalist for FCS Defensive Player of the Year.
“I remember a day when people told me Peanut wouldn be able to find a spot on our team,” Barnum says.
Going into the 2017 season, Barnum is looking for one or more fresh “Peanuts” players who will take their game to another level and lead the way.
The Vikings have several players who could do that, although what the team probably won have is several players on the preseason all Big Sky list.
The most solid area in terms of returnees is the offensive line, where senior left tackle Randin Crecelius is a likely preseason all conference pick, senior left guard Tyshon Mosley isn far behind, and other spots are manned by seasoned players such as senior guard/center Chad Bach.
On defense, lineman Anthony Del Toro turned some heads last year as a freshman from Grants Pass; Davond Dade returns as an experienced senior up front; linebacker Beau Duronslet is a versatile senior out of Central Catholic High; ex Oregon Duck Chris Seisay, a senior, is back at cornerback; and senior Tyler Foreman looks to be the leader of the safety corps.
“Guys like Foreman, Duronslet, Dade all our seniors I need them to step up and lead,
to play football as hard as they can and win games,” Barnum says.
That goes for younger players, as well, and for those at the skill positions.
Starting at quarterback, the big question on the Park Blocks this year is, who starts? The Vikings need to replace Alex Kuresa, a good running QB who led them the past two seasons but has graduated.
The leading candidate probably is Josh Kraght but the product of Lnyden (Washington) High also is arguably the team best receiver and punt returner.
Going into spring ball, Barnum says the QB position is battle between the 6 0 Kraght and 5 11 Davis Alexander, who redshirted in 2016 as a freshman from Gig Harbor, Washington.
Kraght came to PSU as a quarterback, but in three seasons he caught about as many balls (52) as he completed (53 of 104 pass attempts). Still “In Josh, you have a guy who knows the position,” Barnum says. “He a competitor. He a winner. I know we can win with Josh Kraght.”
Meanwhile, “I need to see where Davis Alexander is at,” Barnum quickly adds, “because he a guy who can take it over, it just a question of when. He like the Madison River in Montana, a beautiful river you just haven fished yet.”
Athletically, Kraght and Alexander are similar, and similar to Kuresa, says the coach.
“Josh has experience, attitude, leadership, football savvy and just finds a way to get it done. Davis has the biggest arm of those three. Both of them can run,” Barnum says.
At running back, the Vikings have no one with more than the 29 career carries of Za Summers, who is 5 9 and has a dangerous burst.
The Vikings have always gone with a running back by committee approach, though, and that probably will be the case again this season.
In Mitchell Thompson from Oregon City, the Viks have a former walk on who still plays, at 5 7, like he has something to prove, and performs at a high level on special teams, as well.