February 25, 2010, 3:48PM
It hasn't been an off-season of total upheaval at OSU, but losing probable starting outside linebacker Keith Pankey to a torn achilles was a blow, and on Thursday the Beavers took another hit when the school announced that starting middle linebacker David Pa'aluhi was leaving the program.
Pa'aluhi, who has a wife and child, was wrestling with personal issues and had been thinking about leaving school for some time. He wants to join the military (to try and be a Navy Seal?) and thus will be giving up a promising college career.
The 5-11, 233-pound junior-to-be made 13 career starts and was 2009 all Pac-10 honorable mention. He was No. 2 on the team with 77 tackles (he had a career-high 12 tackles vs.
Pa'aluhi, who everyone around the program called "Bubba'' was an interesting athlete, because of his background in wrestling and martial arts, and didn't play high school football until his senior year.
The players behind Pa'aluhi on OSU's last depth chart were senior-to-be Walker Vave (6-2, 240) and sophomore-to-be Rueben Robinson (6-1, 209). ... another possibility is sophomore-to-be Kevin Unga (6-1, 223) and there is also promising sophomore-to-be Tony Wilson from
“We fully support David’s decision,” OSU coach Mike Riley said. “He’s a terrific young man with a great future, and all of us in the Beaver football program thank him for his contributions and wish him the very best.”