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Wideouts find safe landing with Viks

Run-and-shoot offense is 'a receiver's dream' for two D-I transfers
by: , TARVER

The run-and-shoot is nothing new to Portland State transfer receiver Zach Tarver. He was lining up in it last season.

Of course, he was on the scout team at Oregon State, simulating the Hawaii offense the Beavers were preparing to face.

Now Tarver has a chance to play a lot, for real, in PSU coordinator Mouse Davis' wide-open offense.

'It's a receiver's dream,' says Tarver, the former Jesuit High star.

Tarver and another transfer, Reggie Joseph from Colorado, could be keys to the first-year success of the offense at PSU. The 6-5 Tarver has been practicing this spring at one of the two wideout positions, while the 6-0 Joseph is running patterns at one of the two slotback spots. Both are juniors, with two years of eligibility remaining.

Tarver spent the last three years in Corvallis, redshirting in 2004. He never caught a pass for the Beavers.

'Obviously, things never worked out. It wasn't very fun playing the game there,' Tarver says. 'I wasn't given the chance to show myself as a receiver.

'I thought Portland State would be a good chance to step in -it was either here or Montana State -and here I get to play in my own backyard. I just have to play my game, be aggressive and make catches.'

Being in the Pac-10 or at a major Division I school 'isn't that important to me anymore,' Tarver says. 'Football is football.'

He talked to his brothers (OSU basketball players Josh and Seth Tarver) 'and they were supportive' of the move to PSU, which has Zach living at home with his parents again. 'That is a little weird, but my dad's cool with that,' he says.

Joseph also is excited about his fresh football start. At Colorado, he played sparingly in 18 games, catching five passes for 29 yards and taking part on special teams (he returns punts). A back injury held him back last season.

Joseph grew up in La Place, La., near New Orleans.

He was recruited to Colorado by a cousin, Vance Joseph, now secondary coach with the San Francisco 49ers. A brother, Ky Joseph, played cornerback at Tulane, and another cousin, DeQuincy Scott, has played five seasons in the NFL as a defensive lineman.

In high school, Reggie Joseph played with cousin Ryan Perrilloux, now a quarterback for Louisiana State. 'We averaged 58 points a night,' Joseph says. Joseph didn't play football until his sophomore year but made the all-state team his rookie season as a cornerback. He also played some running back. 'But I've always looked at myself as a receiver,' he says. 'My routes and my hands are my strengths.'

He played center field and pitched in high school, too. 'I was going to go into pro baseball out of high school, but I tore my rotator cuff,' he says.

Tarver and Joseph transferred before former Viking coach Tim Walsh left and PSU hired Jerry Glanville as Walsh's successor.

'This is the best place for me,' Joseph says.