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Mississippi State OL Tobias Smith cleared for sixth year of eligibility; still debating returning to Bulldogs program


Mississippi State RG Tobias Smith has been granted a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA.

Mississippi State RG Tobias Smith has been granted a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA. Photo by: MSU athletics



Matt Stevens


STARKVILLE - Mississippi State University is one step closer to getting another year out of veteran offensive lineman Tobias Smith.  


MSU football spokesperson Joe Galbraith confirmed on Twitter that Smith, a Columbus native, was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA Enforcement staff in December before MSU took the field for the 2013 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville against Northwestern University on New Year's Day.  


"Tobias Smith was granted a sixth year by the NCAA back in December," Galbraith tweeted on his @joestate account. "He has not made a final decision about playing next year." 


Smith said to The Dispatch after the 28-10 victory last month against Auburn University in September that he would be applying for a sixth-year of eligibility via a medical waiver.  


Smith has been on the medical operating table at least four times already in his career with injuries ranging from his shoulder, ankles and most recently a devastating injury to his knee. 


Smith played in 10 games with nine starts at right guard in 2012 but split time throughout the season with redshirt freshman Justin Malone. Smith was returning from rehabilitation from a knee injury suffered in a 19-6 home loss to Louisiana State University in Starkville on Sept. 15. Smith's injury included partial tears of all three ligaments (ACL, MCL, LCL) in his left knee. 


"I wish I had another opportunity to play," Smith said on Dec. 30 at the Hilton Hotel during the Gator Bowl media conference. "And I just might so we'll see what happens." 


If Smith were to return to MSU for a sixth season, the Bulldogs would have every offensive lineman back who started a game during the 2012 season.  




All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.



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