Liebig is back
West Virginia University's football team received good news last week when the NCAA ruled defensive tackle Pat Liebig would be eligible for the upcoming football season. The ruling amounts to a sixth season for the Florida native.
Liebig was a regular on the Mountaineers 2006 team, but left school after that season to go back to Florida to help run his family's car dealership. Liebig's father had become ill and the son was needed at home. Liebig had a season of eligibility left which expired after the 2007 season.
The family has since sold their business creating an opportunity for Liebig to return to college football. Of course there was the hurdle of the NCAA to deal with.
Still, exceptions have been made before due to family medical hardships and the WVU staff felt Liebig's case would meet the criteria for an extra season of eligibility. So the process was started.
The NCAA initially rejected Liebig's petition and asked for more information. That information was supplied, but the wait which ensued became tedious to all those involved. Finally, last Tuesday, the NCAA ruled in favor of Liebig. This should be a huge help for West Virginia and its defensive line.
For starters Liebig will provide depth at what one time seemed a shallow defensive line. With fall camp now in the books indications are there may be less to worry about along the defensive front than originally thought. Liebig is not the only reason for that, but when you consider the 6-4, 270 pounder can play all three positions on the front of WVU's 3-3-5, it is an important factor.
Liebig's weight of 270 is about 10 pounds lighter than his 2006 playing weight, but 30 pounds more than his weight while at home last year. His position coach, Bill Kirelawich, isn't worried about Liebig being light. His experience will more than make up for any perception of him being small.
Being a six year player also brings the senior citizen tag. Liebig is 25 years old and is somewhat bemused to when he realizes that many redshirt sophomores aren't even 20 yet. I'm 25 and you never really know how young everybody really is. You look around and think they must be 22 or 23 then you realize some guys who have been here for a while are only 19, said Liebig.
Liebig will be like having another coach on the field, and that can't hurt with the otherwise youthful front line.