- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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LSU offensive guard Josh Dworaczyk has been granted a sixth year of eligibility, the NCAA and LSU announced Wednesday.
Dworaczyk, who was arguably the Tigers' top lineman heading into last season, suffered a season-ending knee injury during training camp in August and missed all of the 2011 season.
“I’m excited to be able to get another year so that I can finish my career on the field,” Dworaczyk said in a release through the school. “I felt like I had some unfinished business, so being able to get this additional year is a blessing.
“Watching from the sidelines last year wasn’t always easy, because I was so used to being a contributor on the field. Getting another year means that I get to wear the Purple and Gold again, and for that I’m very thankful.
“Getting to see the game through the eyes of a coach and understanding what they are looking for from the players on the field, it helped me fully understand our offense. It also gave me a different relationship with my teammates. As a player, I was a leader on the field. Last year, I couldn’t be in the huddle with my teammates so I tried to be a motivator, giving words of advice or encouragement and doing whatever I could to help from the sidelines.”
Dworaczyk's return will ease the loss of All-American Will Blackwell, who took over at left guard halfway through his past season.
Dworaczyk has started in 26 of the 38 games (all at left guard) that he's played in, and will add to an already experienced returning line. The addition of Dworaczyk means LSU's offensive line will enter the fall with 105 combined starts -- Dworaczyk (26), center P.J. Lonergan (26), right tackle Alex Hurst (24), left tackle Chris Faulk (15), and right guard Josh Williford (14) -- and will yet again cement itself as one of the top offensive lines in the SEC.
“This is great news for our program,” LSU coach Les Miles said. “You never want to see a player have his career cut short because of an injury. Josh is a tremendous representative of our program, and it’s nice to see that he’s going to get a chance to finish out his LSU career on the field.”