Linebacker Rommel Mageo transfers

Josh Worden Senior-Beat Reporter

OSU’s leading tackler heads for Ole Miss as a graduate transfer

Oregon State’s defensive firepower was doused significantly on Wednesday with the news of linebacker Rommel Mageo deciding to transfer to Ole Miss.

Mageo has been at OSU for four years because he redshirted in 2012 and will use the graduate transfer rule to be eligible immediately to play his senior year. The Mississippi news outlet The Clarion-Ledger and The Oregonian first reported the story.

Mageo led the 2-9 Beavers this season with 87 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. His 87 stops also tied for 11th in the Pac-12.

The Beavers were 11th in the Pac-12 this season in scoring defense at 37.0 points per game, ahead of only Oregon. The same went for yards allowed, giving up 481.5 yards per contest.

OSU should have plenty of depth at outside linebacker, with 10 of the 19 players of the class of 2016 listed at that position linebackers. Mageo’s presence at inside linebacker, however, could be sorely missed. Junior-to-be Manase Hungalu and senior Caleb Saulo will likely lead the way. Senior Kyle Haley could also make an impact, along with redshirt freshmen Ricky Liuchan and walk-on Hamilton Hunt.

Mageo, a native of Pago Pago, American Samoa, had a breakout year as a junior this season. The 6-foot-2, 233-pounder made 70 tackles in his first two years with the Beavers but played behind upperclassmen like Michael Doctor, DJ Alexander and Jabral Johnson. His senior year, he had 30 tackles in the first three games alone, totaling 11 tackles in his final game at OSU versus Oregon. He was the only player with two interceptions this season.

Mageo finishes his time at OSU with 17 starts, 36 games played, 157 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and two interceptions.

Ole Miss went 10-3 this season and lost their primary linebacking starters CJ Johnson and Denzel Nkemdiche.

On Twitter @BrightTies