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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Stephen Paea on Nagurski Watch List

Aug. 18, 2009

Corvallis, Ore. -

Oregon State University junior defensive tackle Stephen Paea (pie-uh) has been selected a candidate for the 2009 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, awarded annually to the nation’s premier defensive player by the Football Writers Association (FWAA) and the Charlotte Touchdown Club (CTC). The native Tongan is a co-team captain this year.

Paea is one of the premier tackles in the Pac-10 Conference and earned honorable mention all-league last season. He made 41 tackles for the year, including 11 for loss and five quarterback sacks. Paea started 12 of the 13 games in his first season with the Beavers after transferring from Utah’s Snow Junior College.

The 6-1 co-team captain from Vava’u in the Tongan Island chain was tabbed with the eighth best performance in a bowl game by ESPN’s Bruce Feldman after making four tackles in the Sun Bowl win over Pittsburgh last season. Paea did not play football until moving to the United States prior to his senior year in high school at Timpview in Utah, but was a standout rugby player in Tonga.

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