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Area stars set for college action

Local grads playing at OSU, Oregon and other colleges


by: LINFIELD COLLEGE - MATT ATTACK -- Tualatin High School graduate Matt Yarbrough looks for running room in a Linfield College game last year. It’s almost time.

Time for the start of the college football season, that is.

And some area high school graduates — a whole bunch of them — are ready to make plenty of noise on the college gridirons this fall.

Taylor Hart, a 2009 Tualatin High School graduate, could be an important cog for the University of Oregon football team this year, as the Ducks look to make a run at national glory.

Hart (6-foot-6, 292 pounds), a senior, returns as a starter at defensive tackle for Oregon.

Last year, as a junior, Hart earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention accolades for the second year in a row. He also was a Pac-12 academic all-conference second-team pick for the second straight year and he was also named the Ducks’ Outstanding Defensive Lineman.

Hart had 36 total tackles a year ago. He had 11 tackles for a loss, including eight quarterback sacks, to go with three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

The Ducks have another local player in Sherwood graduate Ben Butterfield (6-0, 190).

Butterfield, a senior, plays at defensive back. He played in all 13 of the team’s games a year ago.

The Ducks open their 2013 schedule Aug. 31 when they host Nicholls State University at 1 p.m.by: SCHOBEL WIGGINS:OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY - A LEG UP -- Tigard High School graduate Keith Kostol boom a punt for Oregon State University in a game last season.

Over at Oregon State University, 2010 Tigard graduate Keith Kostol (6-4, 199) returns as the Beavers’ starting punter.

Last year, as a sophomore, Kostol averaged 41.9 yards a punt for Oregon State.

Also at Oregon State, 2011 Sherwood graduate Michael Balfour (5-11, 232) looked to be in the hunt for the starting fullback spot, but he is currently battling with an injury.

Last year, Balfour played mainly on special teams for the Beavers, but he did have a 4-yard touchdown run against Nicholls State.

Cutter Baldock (6-4, 245), a 2011 Tigard graduate, will play at Portland State University after transferring from Arizona State University. Baldock, who played in three games for the Sun Devils last year, is expected to contend for a defensive end spot for the Vikings this year.

The Linfield College football team will have a local feel to it.

Tualatin graduate Matt Yarbrough (6-2, 200) is expected to battle for the Wildcats’ starting quarterback spot this year. Last year, as a sophomore, Yarbrough saw action in five games for Linfield, completing eight of 11 pass attempts for 123 yards and a touchdown.

Yarbrough will have one of his favorite former Tualatin targets to throw to this season in receiver Brian Balsiger, who is transferring to Linfield from Portland State.

Meanwhile, a pair of 2013 Tigard graduates, Cain Adams, who will play at defensive tackle, and Blake Chamberlain, who will play at guard, will also join the Wildcats this fall.

Another former Tigard standout lineman, Jeremy Austin, is expected to start his second season at Western Oregon University.

At Pacific University in Forest Grove, Sherwood High School graduate Jake Lawrence and Tualatin grad Nathan Suyematsu both could return at receiver. Suyematsu could also see action at place-kicker.

Last year, Lawrence was second on the team with 31 receptions, going for 416 yards and four touchdowns.

Cristian Morris, a 2013 Sherwood graduate who helped the Bowmen to state championships in both 2010 and 2012, is starting his freshman season at Idaho State University. Morris, who shined at running back and defensive back for the Bowmen, is listed as a wide receiver on the Idaho State roster.

by: ERIC EVANS: UNIVERSITY OF OREGON - BIG TIME RUSH -- Tualatin High School graduate Taylor Hart puts the pressure on during the Ducks' game at USC. Hart returns at defensive tackle for the Universit of Oregon this season. Three other former Sherwood stars, quarterback Dusty Crabtree, kicker Taylor Bonawitz and lineman Andrew Loza, are expected to be back at Willamette University this fall.

A pair of former Tigard standout running backs from last fall, Zach Floyd and Kaz Greene, will be starting their college football careers. Floyd will be playing for the College of the Siskiyous and Greene will be at the University of San Diego.

Horizon Christian High School is sending three of its 2013 graduates to the college ranks.

Wyatt Houston, who had big years at quarterback for the Hawks, will play at tight end for Utah State University.

Zack Selland, who was Houston’s favorite target at Horizon Christian, will be looking for action at receiver and punter at the University of North Dakota.

Former Horizon lineman Grant Phillips will be part of the revitalized football program at George Fox University.

At Lewis & Clark College, Tigard graduate Peter McCormick will be a senior safety and Sherwood grad Ian Taylor will be a junior running back.

If there are any local players missing from this list, please inform Dan Brood at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or at 503-546-0734.



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