Mississippi State offensive guard Tobias Smith, whose career has been hampered time and again by injuries, has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, the school confirmed today. The extra year was granted in December.
This doesn’t mean Smith will play next fall. A team spokesman said, “He has not made a final decision about playing next year.”
If he returned, MSU would have all five starting offensive linemen back from the 2012 team, which went 8-5 and lost to Northwestern in the Gator Bowl. Smith played in 10 games with nine starts at right guard. Coaches were cautious with him early in the season because of the knee injury that had cut his 2011 season short three games in, and he shared snaps with Justin Malone.
Smith’s only fully healthy season was 2010, when he played 12 games, alternating at both guard spots.
His career began ominously with a broken ankle as a freshman. The next year he was limited to three games by a leg injury. In all, Smith has played in 28 career games out of a possible 51, with 13 starts.