Beaver WR hangs 'em up

CASEY KJOS

OREGON STATE head man Mike Riley announced Wednesday that wide receiver Casey Kjos has elected to quit football due to recurring injuries. The senior slotback receiver has battled back and other injuries his entire collegiate career. While a loss, the blow is lessened as the Beavers seven receivers headed into spring ball who lettered this past season.

Casey Kjos becomes the fourth high profile Beaver loss this offseason. MLB David Pa'aluhi left OSU to join the military, QB Lyle Moevao had his longshot appeal for a sixth year denied by the NCAA and LB Keith Pankey will miss at least the upcoming spring session with a torn achilles.

With the departure of Kjos, the Beavers have seven returning lettermen receivers -– James Rodgers, Jordan Bishop, Aaron Nichols, Kevan Walker, Markus Wheaton, Geno Munoz and Darrell Catchings.

Bishop might be the leading candidate to assume Kjos' spot this spring. He started four games this past season at slotback. The Beavs started a slotback only seven games in 2009, with an h-back, FB or second TE starting the others.

OSU is seeking a medical hardship year for 2009 for Catchings, who played in only two games while battling wrist and ankle injuries. Catchings is currently listed as a senior, but if the hardship is approved he would have two years of eligibility remaining.

Kjos, a three-year letterman, ends his career with 10 receptions for 103 yards and scored his lone career touchdown last season on a 9-yard reception in last year's Civil War. He started three games for his career.

"Casey has fought back injuries for a couple of seasons and I know it was a difficult decision for him to make," said Riley. "He has been a very committed and hard working player for Oregon State and we certainly wish him all the best."

Kjos came to OSU in 2006 from Middletown, Ohio and played on special teams as a true freshman. He missed all of 2007 with a back injury.

"It was an extremely difficult decision not only due to the fact that I love this game, but that I love this team, love my teammates and love the coaches," Kjos said. "I have been blessed and am very thankful for the opportunities Coach Riley and the other coaches have given me. There are no other coaches like them."

Kjos concludes his career as a two-time Pac-10 Conference All-Academic First Team selection and is on track to earn bachelor's degrees in psychology and sociology in June.

The Beavers open spring practice for the 2010 season March 29. The annual spring game is on May 1.

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