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Kevin Hastin’s physical play leads defense

Despite the loss to SW Texas State last Saturday, the Portland State football team’s defense stepped up letting the Bobcats’ offense into the end zone once in the second half. Helping keep the Vikings in the game was linebacker Kevin Hastin, who had 11 tackles for the game and 25 for the season going into the fifth week of play.

Prior to PSU, Hastin has run down offenses in high school football, as well as junior college. Hastin has proven himself to be a tough inside linebacker, whose best asset is his physical play.

At La Habra High School, in California, Kevin played baseball and football. He was a three-year starter at linebacker and earned First Team All-League. Hastin also was invited to play in the North-South All-Star game.

Hastin was passed up by many schools after graduating from high school, because his speed wasn’t where most teams wanted it to be. But that wasn’t going to keep Kevin from playing. Other teams, such as Tennessee State, saw Hastin’s potential plugging up the running game with his physical style.

Kevin went with a full ride to Tennessee State, but left after finishing the two-a-day practices. Deciding the school wasn’t right for him and feeling a little home sick, Hastin returned to his home in California.

Hastin enrolled at Fullerton Junior College and started his freshman year at linebacker. He started in 10 games and was named Defensive Player of the Year. In his sophomore year, Hastin was sidelined with a torn MCL. Even with an injury-plagued sophomore season, Hastin walked away from Fullerton with All-Conference and All-State honors.

Deciding to attend a university closer to home, Hastin looked to PSU and walked on in the spring of 2000. He made the Vikings’ roster as a red-shirt and received a scholarship. Hastin has family in the Portland area and saw that as another reason to attend PSU.

Hastin hails from a football family. His parents, Donna and Wes Hastin, try to go to as many games as they can. Wes Hastin played offensive guard for the University of California-Riverside. Hastin’s brother, who attends Cal-State-Fullerton, also plays football as a defensive end.

“Both had roles in my commitment to football,” Hastin said.

The football family line doesn’t stop there. His uncle coaches Tualatin high school and his cousin is the defensive coordinator at Century High School.

The health and fitness major hopes to be a high school teacher and coach after he graduates this spring. Hastin is also doing his internship at Century High and would like to work at the college level eventually.

“I’d like to coach and teach at the high school level,” Hastin said, “maybe later a strength coach at a college.”

Hastin likes physically demanding and challenging activities, especially surfing. He also goes snowboarding and fishing.

“I like to go fishing a lot around here, but the beaches aren’t great for surfing,” Hastin said.

Due to a sprained ankle, the Vikings are going to miss Hastin and his physical play when they face Idaho State this weekend. He hopes to practice next week.