Despite some bitter losses, this past decade has been particularly enjoyable for Beavers fans as new receivers have come to the forefront and shown the nation that Oregon State has talent and can keep up with high-powered, spread offenses.
The following receivers, listed according to era, were the most exciting players to watch during the last decade. Each player brought something different to the field, but all five showcased an ability to take over a game when needed. So without further ado, enjoy the list as we take a look at #4.
(Yes, Sammie Stroughter technically began his college career in 2004, but he only caught five passes in his first two seasons. 2006-2008 were the years in which Stroughter became a starter and logged actual snaps).
Sammie Stroughter (2004-2008)
Standing at only five-foot-nine, Sammie Stroughter was never the biggest receiver, nor was he the quickest. However, those tangibles weren’t a factor as Stroughter enjoyed a phenomenal career at Oregon State. Stroughter was the type of receiver that made every quarterback look good, and he kept some defensive coordinators up at night trying to game plan.
The return specialist-turned star receiver was a major part of the Beavers offense when healthy, helping lead the team to victories against USC, Oregon, Missouri, and many other big teams. In two different seasons (2006, 2008) Stroughter eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards and hauled in five or more touchdowns.
Signature Game #1 - Week 6, 2006 Against Washington
The Beavs were 2-3, needing a win in enemy territory. The 4-2 Huskies were trying to spoil the day. However, Oregon State’s offense came prepared for battle. Matt Moore led the way, focusing early and often on Sammie Stroughter. The Huskies defense had no answer as Stroughter caught seven passes for 223 yards and one touchdown. Moore hit Stroughter on bubble screens, deep posts, and slants. The route didn’t really matter as Stroughter outplayed the Huskies defense and opened up running lanes for Yvenson Bernard.
This performance was the defining factor in the Beavers 27-17 victory in enemy territory.
Signature Game Pro Edition - Week 9, 2009
This was the situation: the Buccaneers faced a fourth-and-four from Green Bay’s three-yard line. Tampa Bay was losing 28-23 with only 4:20 left in the game. Instead of kicking a field goal, head coach Raheem Morris trusted his “youngry” offense. Josh Freeman dropped back and threw a fade pass toward the right corner of the end zone. Sammie Stroughter made the catch, twisted in mid-air, and tapped his toes to complete the touchdown. This go-ahead score gave the Bucs a 31-28 lead with 4:14 left in the game.
This catch was a great play from one of many exciting rookies. Josh Freeman was making his first career start, and Sammie Stroughter was outplaying his status of seventh-round draft pick. This duo had the potential to be a dangerous pair for years to come, but injuries to Stroughter and the Bucs imploding in horrific fashion derailed those plans.