Beavs still deep at LB after Skotte retires

JOEL SKOTTE, injured last year on a kickoff, waited and waited in case his prospects to return to the field improved. But with uncertainty remaining firmly in place, he has now made the choice to hang up his cleats.

Joel Skotte wasn't going to play the 2014 season following neck surgery it was announced back in April. But Skotte will not return in '15 either and will retire from football, Mike Riley told the Oregonian at Pac-12 Media Days.

Skotte would have been a redshirt junior with two years of eligibility remaining had he returned in '15.

"It's a result of the surgery and just not being sure that he's ever going to play," Riley is quoted. "He's going to focus on school. So that's a relatively late change."

Skotte won a starting linebacker job coming out of fall camp last year and started four games. But Rommel Mageo passed him up on the depth chart after four games and Skotte's primary contributions then became special teams.

Linebackers coach Trent Bray said in the spring that Skotte first hurt his neck during the practice week before a Nov. 1 loss to USC, and then aggravated it when he sustained a concussion against USC on the opening kickoff.

The Beavers look to have a solid linebacking corps headed into the season without Skotte.

Oregon State has three returning starters in Michael Doctor, Jabral Johnson and D.J. Alexander -- plus quality depth in Mageo, Darrell Songy and Caleb Saulo.

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