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Stephen Paea Gears Up for Junior Year

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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.

--Jake (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com)