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Vikings stock up with eye on a title

Tim Walsh came away happy Wednesday and says Portland State should be well stocked to compete for the Big Sky Conference title this fall.

'We hit all our position needs on the head,' the Viking head coach says. 'I feel good about that. We needed some depth on the offensive line and at defensive tackle, and we have secured ourselves for a couple of years down the road in both spots.

'I would expect all (eight) JCs to contribute this season.'

The Vikings had received 21 letters of intent and still wanted to add three or four.

The Vikings have 15 starters back, including quarterback Juston Wood and tailback Ryan Fuqua. They'll have six home games, including Montana. 'If we fill in the pieces like we think we can, we can make a run for something special in 2002,' Walsh says.

The Vikings signed three junior college defensive linemen and three offensive linemen. Walsh also got Jay Williams, a 6-3, 200-pound receiver from Mesa (Ariz.) JC, who he hopes can replace All-American Terry Charles.

'If he can refine a little of his route-running skills, he can be a dominant player,' Walsh says.

Among the preps, Walsh highlighted Matt Steiner, a fullback from Seattle, whom he expects to play as a freshman; Sawyer Smith, a quarterback from Chehalis, Wash., 'a point guard in basketball, athletic and raw as a quarterback, but going to be good,' Walsh says; and Steve Blatchley, a 6-5, 290-pound offensive tackle from Springfield.

'Huge, great wrestler, has good feet,' Walsh says of Blatchley. 'We hope to redshirt him.'

PSU SIGNEES

JUNIOR COLLEGE: Jay Williams, 6-3, 200 WR, Mesa (Ariz.); Jeremy Stewart, 6-2, 280 OG, El Camino (Calif.); Josh Ratliff, 6-4, 265 DL, Butte (Calif.); Gary Torre, 6-1, 225 LB, San Mateo (Calif.); Jason Hicks, 6-5, 290 OT, Sierra (Calif.); Chris Berg, 6-2, 315 DT, East Los Angeles; Paul Dolinsky, 6-1 280 OL, College of the Canyons (Eureka, Calif.); and Agatupu Sagapolutele, 6-1, 280 DT, Allan Hancock (Santa Maria, Calif.). HIGH SCHOOL: Preps: Steve Blatchley, 6-5, 290 OT, Thurston; Brendan Ferrigno, 5-9, 165 WR, South Salem; Greg Geske, 6-0, 185 WR, Tigard; Sean Walsh, 6-0, 225 LB, Westview; Adrian Rosales, 6-0, 185, PK, South Hills High (West Covina, Calif.); Sawyer Smith, 6-5, 190 QB, Chehalis (Wash.); Matt Steiner, 6-1, 230 FB, Kamiak (Seattle); Darren Heerspink, DL 6-5, 250, Lynden (Wash.) Christian; Ashley Simmons, 6-1, 200 LB, Laguna Creek (Wilton, Calif.); Derek Duff, 6-3, 275 OT, Reynolds; Garrett Judah, 6-2, 215 LB, Sunset; Ronald Richmond, 6-2, 205 WR/DB, Franklin; Justin Snoderly, 6-4, 210 FB, David Douglas.