Oregon State loses starting defensive end

March, 29, 2010
3/29/10
7:55
PM ET
Oregon State's projected starting defensive end Matt LaGrone has left the team for personal reasons, The Oregonian reported and a school spokesperson confirmed.

The Beavers started spring practices Monday.

LaGrone, a former Nevada basketball player, started four of Oregon State's final five games in 2009 and was listed No. 1 on the spring depth chart ahead of sophomore Taylor Henry, redshirt freshman John Braun and injured senior Mitchel Hunt.

According to The Oregonian, LaGrone was struggling with being separated from his family -- a wife and two daughters -- who live in Reno.

LaGrone is the second projected starter to leave the team. Middle linebacker David Pa'aluhi also left the Beavers to reportedly join the military. The Beavers also lost receiver Casey Kjos (injuries). Linebacker Keith Pankey will miss spring with a torn Achilles.

"It does (hurt the team), because [LaGrone] had made a lot of progress and played a lot,'' Beavers coach Mike Riley told The Oregonian. "I think we've got good depth. We've got young guys coming up who I think will be good players but it's a tough loss. ... it's just like Pa'aluhi. You've got a guy almost at the stage to get his best performance, and then he's gone.

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