Joel Skotte cannot remember the helmet-to-helmet collision with a USC player that ended his Friday night prematurely.
“I remember coming out onto the field to start the game and I remember getting home,” Skotte, a reserve middle linebacker at Oregon State, said Tuesday by phone from Corvallis. “Anything in between there is a little blurry.”
An OSU sophomore and a former standout at Bend's Mountain View High School, Skotte was blocking on the opening kickoff of the Beavers' eventual 31-14 home loss to the Trojans when he met a USC defender in a violent collision in which the two players' helmets banged together.
Skotte said Tuesday that he was knocked unconscious. He lay motionless at the 20-yard line while Oregon State medical personnel attended to him. He eventually walked off the field with some help.
With years of football under his belt, Skotte said it was not his first concussion.
“I think I've had a couple small ones, but I've never been out like that to where I was sleeping,” Skotte said. “This is the first big one I've had.”
Skotte spent Saturday at home in Corvallis, a day he called “a little rough” because of the concussion symptoms, though he added he did receive a slew of texts and phone calls from friends and family in Central Oregon.
To be cleared to practice again, Skotte will have to pass a battery of tests. His symptoms will be evaluated daily by Oregon State's medical staff until the symptoms are gone. Then he must pass a concussion impact test just to be approved to run and lift weights, he said.
The process should last at least a week, he said.
“I still feel a little off,” Skotte said. “But I am doing a lot better than Friday night or Saturday. I'm getting better and just trying to get a lot of rest.”
OSU is on a bye week before traveling to Arizona State on Nov. 16. Though there is no timetable to return, it is conceivable that Skotte could be ready to play by then.
That possibility is not lost on the Bend product.
“I'm kind of lucky,” Skotte said. “It could have been way, way worse. I had my head turned and who knows. I could have broken my neck. So God was definitely protecting me.”