Generally, a junior college transfer like Stephen Paea is expected to come in as a junior and compete to see his name on the two-deep. But rarely do you see a player turn in a rookie sophomore campaign like Paea did.
In 2008, Paea started 12 of 13 games-- all except the Civil War, where he played on a sprained MCL. Paea said before the Sun Bowl that he hadn't been completely healthy since the Beavers beat UCLA on November 8 in Los Angeles.
Paea recorded 41 tackles on the season, 11 for loss, and five sacks. In Oregon State's game against Cal, Stephen recorded a season-best six tackles, two for loss, and a sack-- with a strained MCL, mind you.
The 6-1, 293 tackle will return to the defensive line as a junior. He'll play a large role in filling in for the absence of graduated senior ends Victor Butler and Slade Norris, as well as fellow tackle Pernnell Booth-- Paea will the be the only returning starter in 2009.
Expect this honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection to wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines yet again in 2009.