Three teammates from Corvallis High's 2006 state championship football team are now with Portland State.
Drew Hubel will start at quarterback for the Vikings in Saturday's season opener at Oregon State.
Hubel has been at PSU since his freshman year, and was joined last spring by former CHS teammates Wade Penner and Cameron Hein.
Penner is a kicker and Hein a long snapper and receiver. At some point this season Penner could have Hein snapping to his holder for a kick and Hein could catch a pass from Hubel.
Penner originally went to Washington State as a walk-on kicker. He was the kickoff man and made 5 of 6 extra points and missed his only field goal try in 2007, but as a non-scholarship player he decided to transfer to PSU for the in-state tuition.
The fact that he would once again be teammates with Hubel and Hein was an extra bonus.
"That was a big reason," Penner said. "Me and Cameron and Drew were all good friends in high school. Cameron mentioned he was going (to PSU) so we both decided we'd end up going here."
Penner is competing with Oregon State transfer Jake Webber and Robert Truax for the kicking spot.
He said the process is pretty much the same as it was at WSU, although the Cougars had a little more space.
"I've got a great special teams crew and we're all friends," he said. "We don't have as much room to kick during practice. We kick on the same field so we go across the field. At Washington State we'd branch off and go kick; here we stay on the field."
Portland State does have Jerry Glanville, however.
"It's pretty cool to be able to say you play for a big name coach," Penner said. "It's fun playing for a famous coach."
Penner said he's excited to play in Reser Stadium.
"I didn't play when I came down there with Wazzu this last season," he said. "It's always fun going back to your hometown. I expect it to be an exciting game."
Penner said he'll be ready if he's sent out for a field goal attempt. He's played in front of big crowds in Pacific-10 Conference games.
"I've been in similar surroundings before so that might help," he said. "The big crowd shouldn't be a factor."
While Penner was testing the Pac-10 waters, Hein went the junior college route. Brigham Young wanted him to walk-on and a linebackers coach came to Corvallis to visit him after the state championship game.
It was a little late to go through the admission process, so Hein went on his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and then went to Butte Junior College in Chico, Calif., last year. He was the starting long snapper and helped the team to a national championship.
"Butte College was a lot of fun, it was a good experience for me and I improved a lot," Hein said. "We won the national championship, so I got one in high school with Drew and Wade and another one in junior college. It was the luck of the draw."
Hein received offers to walk-on from Sacramento State, BYU and Rutgers, but decided to save money and go to PSU.
He knew Hubel was there and sees the potential in the program.
"I really like the coaching staff and I really like coach Glanville," he said.
Hein played defensive back in addition to long snapping for Butte, but moved to receiver for the Vikings. He participated in spring practice and spent the summer at PSU throwing with Hubel.
Hein is a scout team receiver and has been second on the depth chart at long snapper during fall camp.
"I've been getting a lot of good reps and throwing with Drew again so it's natural to do that," Hein said. "It's been an easy transition going from playing defensive back and not catching balls to catching balls again."
Long snapper might seem a strange fit for Hein, who is a shade short of six feet tall and weighs in at 180 pounds, but his speed makes the difference.
Last year there was a San Francisco City College lineman headed to University of Southern California who took one look at Hein as the teams lined up for a kick and let out a big laugh.
"I snapped it and went by him so fast he didn't know what happened," Hein said.
At PSU, the line is spread out with two-yard gaps, so Hein can continue to use his speed after the snap.
"It gives me the ability to not be so focused on blocking and use my speed," he said. I pride myself on being the first to get down there."
Like Penner, Hein is looking forward to coming back to Corvallis. He realizes that none of the three former CHS players will get any cheery greetings once the game starts.
"I think it's really exciting, not like a nervous feeling but more anticipation," he said. "Oregon State has a real good program, but I've been to Oregon State games for 10 years, so I know what the environment's going to be like. We know what to expect."