Penn State linebackers Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti have signed contracts with Minnesota, the Vikings said Tuesday.

Hodges, a Paulsboro graduate who will play one of the outside spots, was picked in the fourth round. Mauti, whose position is in the middle, was a seventh-round selection.

Also signing was defensive tackle Everett Dawkins, a seventh-round pick out of Florida State.

Muncie dies. Chuck Muncie, 60, a Pro Bowl running back with both the New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers, died of heart failure Monday at his Los Angeles-area home.

Muncie was the Saints' first-round pick, third overall, out of California in 1976. He played 41/2 seasons in New Orleans before being traded in 1980 to San Diego, where he finished his nine-year NFL career.

In 1979, Muncie became the first Saint to rush for 1,000 yards, finishing with 1,198 and 11 touchdowns, and his 1,506 total yards from scrimmage earned him the first of his three Pro Bowl selections.

The 6-foot-3 Muncie, who played at 227 pounds, and fellow Saints running back Tony Galbreath formed what then-coach Hank Stram dubbed "Thunder and Lightning" in the New Orleans backfield.

His accomplishments on the field came despite cocaine use, and in 1989, five years after his retirement from pro football, Muncie was sentenced to 18 months in prison for a cocaine distribution conviction. He then began sharing his life story with at-risk youth, highlighting his struggles with drug abuse.

Muncie's 43 touchdowns for San Diego, and 19 touchdowns in a single season, both rank second in Chargers history, eclipsed only by LaDainian Tomlinson.