Huge get for Cougs: Wade Jacobson back in '12

WADE JACOBSON

WASHINGTON STATE offensive lineman Wade Jacobson has been granted a medical hardship waiver and will return to the field in 2012 -- though he won't be a full participant in spring practices that begin later this month, a source close to the situation confirmed with CF.C today. Nevertheless, his return marks a major boost for the Cougar offensive line.

Jacobson, a senior last season, missed almost of all of the campaign with a back injury, and applied to the NCAA for another year of eligibility.

The green light from the NCAA just came through yesterday. But the Cougs will be taking no chances with Jacobson's back until he is fully rehabbed.

He will take part in drills and other activities this spring, but the plan is to hold him out of contact in order to be safe and to allow his back muscles to get stronger, the source told CF.C.

Jacobson, a versatile performer who has started at both guard and tackle at WSU, bolsters a Cougar line that loses David Gonzales, Andrew Roxas and B.J. Guerra. Back in 2012 are returning starters T/G John Fullington and C Matt Goetz, as well as Dan Spitz and Jake Rodgers, who saw starting time as injury replacements last season.

Offensive line coach Clay McGuire told CF.C this month getting Jacobson back for one more year would be huge.

"He provides leadership, experience, depth and he's a good football player," McGuire said. "Anytime you get an 'extra' guy like that, it would be like getting Graham Harrell back at Texas Tech another year. That would have been awesome. (If he returns) I think he'll be an impact player for us."

WSU signed seven o-linemen -- Sam Jones, Niu Sale, Pierson Villarrubia, Eduardo Middleton, Sam Flor, Denzel Dotson and B.J. Salmonson -- to letters of intent in February. WSU also has 2011 holdover Alex Mitchell slated to arrive in the summer. Of that group, Jones, Sale and Mitchell could be the most ready to contribute early.

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