Portland State loads up with Northwest players
Bruce Barnum's second recruiting class at Portland State is dominated with players from the Pacific Northwest. Most of them won't be expected to contribute right away, but Barnum says the 21 players who signed letters-of-intent with the Vikings on Wednesday are "a perfect fit for Portland State."
The list includes a quarterback of the future with a significant football pedigree, several receivers who could find their way onto the field soon, and athletes whose positions on defense will be determined after they arrive.
Davis Koetter, son of Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter, is perhaps the most notable signee. Barnum says the plan is to redshirt Koetter.
"Get him in that weight room and get him to be a master of the system so he makes a run at it for four years," Barnum says.
At 6-2, 190 pounds, Koetter is a pocket passer who has the size and arm to throw downfield, a dimension the Vikings, who slumped to 3-8 last season, have lacked in recent run-first QBs.
The other quarterback in this class is Jalani Eason from Gardena, California. Barnum says Eason is a running QB with a good arm who could compete for playing time as a freshman.
The two players expected to compete for starting roles right away are junior college transfers Kason Jackett and safety Braxton Winterton.
Jackett, 6-2, 225, is the only true linebacker in the group and is expected to vie for the starting middle linebacker job as a junior. He played two seasons at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, California, and is the only player who plans to enroll early and be on hand for spring practice.
Winterton, 6-3, 215, played two seasons at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, where he made eight interceptions.
At running back, Barnum says Bishop Mitchell out of Mount Angel and Kennedy High could be the sleeper of this recruiting class. And, Antwone Williams is a speedster out of Los Angeles.
Ten players who signed on Wednesday are from Oregon or Southwest Washington.
That list includes two players from Central Catholic: defensive back Jared Reed and tight end Malik Thirdgill.
The other locals are receiver Mataio Talalemotu from Beaverton High; offensive lineman Brady Brick of Battle Ground, Washington; defensive ends Zarykk "Boogie" Davis out of Westview High and Jake Porter from West Linn; defensive backs Anthony Adams from Newberg and Jerin Appling from Grants Pass; linebacker Nicholas Ah Sam from Springfield; and kicker/punter Noah Brosio from North Valley High in Grants Pass.
Defensive back Ryan Swanson is the Idaho 5A defensive player of the year. Linebacker/defensive end Markus Sullivan is the nephew of Pat Sullivan, who won the Heisman Trophy as quarterback at Auburn in 1971.
Barnum says the recruiting never stops, even when players are signed. He notes all but two players from his first recruiting class a year ago are in the program.
"The key to everything is to keep replenishing with great student-athletes that fit here," Barnum says. "I just need to keep them here. With the type of kids we're bringing in, if I do that every year, we'll win year in and year out.
"What can't happen is I sign a class of 21 or 22 kids, and by the time they're seniors two are left."
2017 Portland State signees
Jalani Eason, 5-11, 185, Gardena, Calif.
Davis Koetter, 6-2, 195, Tampa, Fla.
Bishop Mitchell, 5-9, 180, Kennedy High
Antwone Williams, 5-8, 170, Los Angeles
George McCorley, 6-3, 200, San Diego, Calif.
Mataio Talalemotu. 6-1, 180, Beaverton High
Malik Thirdgill, 6-4, 235, Central Catholic High
Brady Brick, 6-4, 260, Battle Ground, Wash.
Tyson Pauling, 6-5, 320, Riverside, Calif.
Zarykk Davis, 6-3, 230, Westview High
Jake Porter, 6-4, 245, West Linn High
Nicholas Ah Sam, 6-0, 205, Springfield High
Kasun Jackett, 6-2, 225, Eastvale, Calif.
Markus Sullivan, 6-4, 240, Mill Creek, Wash.
Anthony Adams, 6-0, 175, Newberg High
Jerin Appling, 6-2, 190, Grants Pass High
Robert Holt, 6-2, 200, Sacramento, Calif.
Jared Reed, 6-0, 175, Central Catholic High
Ryan Swanson, 6-0, 190, Eagle, Idaho
Braxton Winterton, 6-3, 215, Lindon, Utah
Noah Brosio, 6-0, 185, North Valley High