The NCAA has notified Eastern Washington that wide receiver Tyler Hart has been granted a sixth year of eligibility.
Expected to be a slot receiver and returner for the Eagles last season as a senior, he missed EWU’s first three games, but returned to catch a nine-yard pass versus Montana State. But he lasted only three plays against the Bobcats before he was injured again and lost for the season. Hart was also lost for the year with a broken scapula in EWU’s fourth game of the 2008 season.
Out of a possible 49 games he could have played from 2008-2011, Hart played in only 28. Last month, linebacker Zach Johnson received his sixth year from the NCAA after having 19 games wiped out because of a knee injury that erased his entire 2009 campaign and most of last season.
Hart and his teammates continue preparations for its 2012 season when spring practice begins at EWU on April 3.
“It’s exciting for Tyler,” said EWU head coach Beau Baldwin. “He’s had a tough go of it with a couple of injuries, so it’s great for him to get a chance to finish his career hopefully healthy. Up until his injury last year he was going to be a big contributor for us. Our goal is to get him back to where he was in fall camp a year ago – he was going to be a strong force in the return game and at slot receiver.”
Hart, a 2007 graduate of Friday Harbor (Wash.) High School, has 43 career catches for 367 yards and three touchdowns. Originally a running back his first two seasons in the program, he also has rushed 66 times for 278 yards (4.2 per carry) and four touchdowns, and has returned five punts for a 9.4 average and five kickoffs for a 23.2 average.