The NCAA has granted a sixth year of eligibility to Eastern Illinois defensive lineman Pat Wertz. The NCAA grants a sixth year of eligibility only if a player has missed two seasons because of injury or circumstances beyond the player’s control.
Wertz began his career at Illinois State redshirting the 2008 season before only playing in two games in 2009. Wertz transferred to EIU and sat out the 2010 season due to NCAA transfer rules.
In 2011 Wertz played in all 11 games as a reserve defensive lineman. He made 21 tackles with four tackles for loss and one sack. This season Wertz has moved into the starting line-up starting all eight games. He is seventh on the team with 34 tackles and second on the team with 5.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.
The Panthers (5-3 overall, 4-1 OVC) play at Tennessee Tech on Saturday with a 1:30 p.m. kickoff in Cookeville, Tenn. EIU is currently tied for first place in the Ohio Valley Conference race.