Stroughter to play in '08

Oregon State senior receiver Sammie Stroughter has been granted a medical hardship year for 2007 and will be eligible for the 2008 season. Stroughter's hardship year was granted in part to him not redshirting at OSU.

Stroughter, who will graduate this December with a bachelor's degree in sociology, will enter his senior year as a postseason honors candidate after being named an Associated Press Third Team All-American in 2006. He played in three of the first four games last year before suffering a season-ending kidney injury at Arizona State.

"The entire team is very excited to have Sammie back," head coach Mike Riley said. "I want to thank the administrators who worked diligently on the process of him regaining the year."

Stroughter was expected to be one of the biggest offensive threats at receiver and among the top punt returners in the nation last season, but he was beset with personal issues prior to the season before making his debut in game two Sept. 6 at Cincinnati.

"Thank the Lord, I have the opportunity to come back after all the things I went through," Stroughter told The Oregonian. "The entire Oregon State community was behind me.  And I felt that -- I felt that love."

The Sacramento native enters the season the school record holder for touchdowns via punt returns with three. He is 10th for career receiving yards in school history with 1,613 and has a legitimate chance to finish in the top five. Sports Illustrated named him one of the "32 most fun athletes to watch" last year.

"I can't even wait (to start playing again)," Stroughter said. "I'm antsy, but I've got to take my time. I don't want to rush anything.

"I want to enjoy it. I want to embrace it."

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