In the past three years, Corey Lewis has torn an ACL three times and underwent a total of five surgeries. As a result of that horrific injury history, the Illinois offensive lineman will get to extend his collegiate playing career.
In a press release sent out Friday, the Illini confirmed that Lewis has been granted a medical hardship waiver by the NCAA and will have a sixth year of eligibility for the 2013 season.
Lewis did not play at all in 2010 and 2011 due to the ACL injuries and subsequent surgeries/rehab. He returned to the playing field for the first time in November of 2012 in a game against Ohio State in which he played 25 snaps.
The release notes that action was his first playing time in 1,076 days, and he went on to play in three more games after that.
While this is certainly a feel-good story, it’s also a positive on-field development for the Illini; after participating in practice this spring, Lewis is listed as the starter at left tackle.