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Pac-12 football: Oregon State's James Rodgers still touch-and-go

July 26, 2011 | 10:37 am

James-Rodgers More than nine months after a knee injury ended Oregon State receiver James Rodgers’ senior season, Oregon State Coach Mike Riley said he will remain cautious with Rodgers on the field.

“One thing you can never do with James is count him out,” Riley said. “He had two major knee surgeries. He is running. He has always been ahead of schedule.”

Rodgers, Oregon State’s career leader in all-purpose yards with 5,784, qualified for an NCAA hardship waiver. Meanwhile, his brother Jacquizz Rodgers skipped his senior season and was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the fifth round.

“We’ll go into fall camp and see where [James] is,” Riley said. “I’m not going to force him in.

“I don’t think we’re going to have an answer until we get into camp.”

Oregon State will need Rodgers if it hopes to rise to the top of the North Division in the Pacific 12. In the preseason media poll, the Beavers finished fourth.

“This is going to be a truly unique year with all the divisions in the league,” Riley said. “The part of it that is probably the same as always is you’re going to have to play well every week. I’ve been in the conference a long time, 11 years now, and I’ve seen the competition rise every week to where it’s like the Super Bowl.”


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-- Douglas Farmer

Photo: James Rodgers. Greg Wahl-Stephens / Associated Press