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Starting Miss. St. lineman granted a sixth year

Tyler Russell, Charles Siddoway, Tobias Smith AP

The question is, will he use it?

Mississippi State announced Friday that offensive lineman Tobias Smith (pictured, right) has been granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA.  Both the player and the school were informed of the decision in December.  However…

“He has not made a final decision about playing next year,” a spokesperson told Brad Locke of Inside Mississippi State Sports.

If Smith decides to take advantage of the sixth season — when a decision will be made is unclear — it would be a boon to the Bulldogs’ offensive line.  Smith started nine of the 10 games in which he played in 2012, including the final six.

As Locke notes, the return of Smith would mean all five starting linemen would be back for another season.

Provided Smith can stay healthy, of course.  His true freshman season in 2008 never got off the ground due to a broken ankle suffered during summer practice, while a leg injury limited him to three games in 2009.  After playing in 12 games in 2010, he missed all but three games the following season due to a partially torn ACL.

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