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Wade wants big finale at home

Big PSU lineman came full circle after prep career
by: STEVE BRENNER 
Myles Wade, Portland State senior defensive lineman, splits the offensive line to rush the passer.

Portland State defensive lineman Myles Wade can still remember the first time he stepped onto the Vikings’ home field. In 2004, Wade was a new member of the Central Catholic High team. He and classmate Kevin Frahm —now a defensive lineman at Oregon State —watched on the sidelines as the Rams blew out Barlow. Finally, Wade and Frahm got put into the game. “I just remember getting in and everything was so fast,” Wade says. This Saturday, Portland State (6-3, 4-2 in the Big Sky) plays at Northern Colorado, and on Nov. 19, the Vikings will finish the regular season at Jeld-Wen Field against Weber State. The Senior Day game against Weber State will mean more to Wade than simply the matter of PSU trying to find a way into the FCS playoffs. The game could be the last time Wade steps onto the Jeld-Wen turf. And he will be playing on the birthday of his late mother Lori Jean Robinson-Wade, who lost a two-year battle with brain cancer in December 2008. Coming out of the Vikings’ tunnel before the game and meeting his father and sister will be an emotional moment for Wade. “I haven’t seen my family on my mother’s birthday in a long time,” Wade says. “When I see my dad and my sister, there will probably be some tears. It will be really moving and humbling. I just want play the best game I can possibly play that day.” Wade’s family was the main reason that he decided to transfer from Texas Tech to PSU. He wanted his father, Jerry, to see him play and Wade wanted to help take care of his sister Olyvia, who has Down syndrome. “I know one of my parents isn’t here to see me play,” Wade says. “I really wanted my father to see me play.” This season, the 6-1, 300-pound Wade has been a force on the Vikings’ defensive line. He has 28 tackles, two sacks and two blocked field goals —the first came in the waning moments of the Northern Arizona game and preserved Portland State’s 31-29 win. “He added a sense of maturity and a sense of toughness to this defense,” Vikings coach Nigel Burton says. Wade also has been a big factor in the Vikings’ improved run defense. Last season, PSU allowed 232.9 yards per game on the ground. This season, the Viks are allowing 130.3. “He’s very physically talented,” defensive line coach Malik Roberson says. “That’s always a plus. But he’s got the intangibles as far as the toughness, the motor and good leadership qualities. He makes other players around him better. That’s the key.” Wade is holding out hope for a chance to play in the NFL. “I’ve heard some good things from scouts as they’ve come in and watched him,” Burton says. “They love how hard he plays, and they love his athleticism. Those are two pretty good things that will give you a shot.” Wade says he has enjoyed proving people wrong. “People in high school thought I was just the dumb jock,” he says. “And I turned out to be one of the first in my high school class to graduate from college. I’m in graduate school now. It’s a lot of reading, but I’m doing well.” At Arizona Western and then at Texas Tech, Wade didn’t have a lot of fun playing the game that he loves. Now, with the Vikings, he is finally having fun. It turns out that what he wanted was waiting for him in Portland all along. “I’ve been having fun since I came home,” Wade says. “This is where I grew up. Where I started is where I finish. That’s the best thing about it.”