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Big Ten team gets huge boost as top defender gains 6th year of eligibility

A Big Ten team received great news with a top defensive player gaining a sixth year of eligibility.

The Michigan State Spartans are already seen as one of the top 12 teams in the country according to both major polls and, on Friday, the team got much better. The reason for that increased optimism is that head coach Mark Dantonio took to Twitter to announce that All-Big Ten linebacker Ed Davis will be eligible to play in 2016.

Davis missed the entire 2015 season as a result of a torn ACL and the Spartans have been petitioning for a sixth year of eligibility ever since. In traditional NCAA fashion, the wheels churned slowly on the decision, but because Davis suffered a second major injury (after redshirting in 2011), the governing body granted him and Michigan State with a reprieve that will make him immediately eligible.

The now 6th-year linebacker added 58 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and seven sacks during his last full season in 2014, and Davis is expected to be available when Michigan State takes on rival Notre Dame on Sept. 17 in South Bend. It should be noted that Ed Davis has not played football at a high level in quite some time, meaning that Michigan State fans should temper expectations, but if the veteran can approach his previous level of play, this will be a massively important addition for Dantonio and his team this season.