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The Ink Is Dry On Fernando and Harrah

Oregon St. has signed National Letters of Intent on two key Junior College transfers who will be counted on to make an immediate impact on the defensive line.

More importantly, both Rusty Fernando of Glendale Community College in Arizona and Blake Harrah from Saddleback Community College in California are also signing registration papers to start classes winter term, making the prospect of them rescinding their commitment minimal, and ensuring they will be ready for a productive spring practice.

Both are defensive ends, where a lack of edge speed has been a direct contributor to other defensive problems, ranging from double teams in the interior, to defensive backs being faced with difficult cover assignments for far too long. Further, veteran Gabe Miller, who overcame two achillies tendon injuries in his career, also graduates from the line this winter, making the position a vital priority this off-season.

Both transfers have two remaining years of eligibility, plus the availability of a red-shirt in the event of injury.

Fernando, 6'3", 223 lb., graduated from Glendale CC this past term, and was a first team All-Region and All-Western States Football League selection, after leading the Gauchos to the Valley of the Sun Bowl title. He was second team on both lists as a freshman. Fernando attended Apache Junction High School, and recorded school records of 105 tackles and 12 quarterback sacks in his senior year.

Fernando, who visited Corvallis for the USC game, also had scholarship offers from Idaho, Utah State, Hawaii, and Northern Arizona.

Hannah, 6-3, 255 lb., is the son of Dennis Harrah, who went to 6 Pro Bowls in his 13 year NFL career with the then Los Angeles Rams. Hannah helped Saddleback to an 8-3 record and an appearance in the California Bowl this season. Hannah was a two way standout at Temecula Valley High School.

Hannah's other options were Bowling Green and Middle Tennessee.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com