There wasn’t much suspense when Austin Powell and Bryon Bodon sat down to sign their football letters of intent on Wednesday in the senior hallway at Crescent Valley High.
Green balloons floated in two clusters above the signing table, which was covered by a green tablecloth.
A streamer with the letters “PSU” was strung across the front of the table.
There were cookies, frosted green with white PSU lettering, and green napkins for the crumbs.
When Powell and Bodon took their seats (in green chairs) for the signing, they were wearing Portland State University gear.
Needless to say, they signed with the Vikings.
The two CV linemen had given the Vikings verbal commitments months ago and they stuck to their word, scrawling their signatures on the PSU documents.
“When I committed, my word was my contract. I knew I was going to come here ever since I committed,” Powell said. “But it’s nice to finally get it on paper and have it be official.
“It’s been a dream of mine since I was 4 years old to play college football and one signature sealed the deal. It’s a 14-year goal that just got solidified, so it was really good.”
CV coach Scott Sanders spoke for a moment before the signing. He told the players that there’s plenty of work ahead.
“This is the easy part,” Sanders said. “Signing your name is the easy part.”
Both players had other suitors.
Bodon said UC Davis and Montana were both interested.
Montana State, Carroll (Mont.) College, North Dakota and Northern Colorado were among the schools that contacted Powell.
Oregon State and Oregon also invited Powell as a preferred walk-on.
“I don’t think anything could have really changed my mind,” Bodon said. “I fell in love with the head coach, Nigel Burton. He reminds me a lot of coach Sanders. He’s a motivational guy. He doesn’t get down on you. He just looks for the good in people, not the bad, and that really helps a player develop.”
The Vikings are looking at Bodon at defensive tackle.
He’s 6-foot-5 and now weighs in at 301 pounds.
“I finished second team all-state at defensive tackle and I finished with 75 tackles and eight sacks at nose guard for my team, which is a very hard position. You’re getting triple-teamed every play,” he said. “So I just thought, ‘Why not?’ I have the mentality to be a defensive guy.”
Burton gave Powell the choice of playing on the offensive or defensive side of the ball.
Powell was meeting with Burton and PSU offensive line coach Brad Davis on a visit when Burton brought up the subject.
“He presented me with that option while the O-line coach was there and the O-line coach has been the one mainly recruiting me,” Powell said. “So Nigel brought it up and the O-line coach was like, ‘Oh, no, man. Come on, you’re not going to do that to me.’ But he gave me the opportunity.”
Powell said he’s leaning toward the offensive line.
That would land him at guard or center.
“I’ve been working on my snaps because they said prepare to play center,” he said. “I’ve not played a lot of center but I definitely can pick it up fast.”
Getting a scholarship was important for both players.
Bodon said signing his letter brought him a certain sense of relief.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a weight off my shoulders, but it’s a weight off of me mentally,” he said. “It’s a big deal for my parents. I’m a poor kid and we live in an apartment, we barely get bill to bill. So this $120,000 scholarship means a big deal to all of us.”