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Werner gets sixth year of eligibility

For the second consecutive year, Purdue will have a sixth-year senior.

Linebacker Jason Werner was granted his sixth year by the NCAA on Friday.

Werner missed the 2006 and 2008 season with a back injury. But he started every game last season and was third on the team in tackles (77) and had 4.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. He had a career-high 13 tackles against Toledo on Sept. 5.

"It feels great to finally get the word, and I'm extremely excited to be back," Werner said in a statement. "I have been working out this whole time without knowing whether I would get the chance to play again, and now that the decision has been made, I can really get back at it. I'm looking forward to playing with my teammates again and for our coaches."

Werner earned his bachelor's degree in organizational leadership and supervision in August 2009. He's currently working toward a graduate degree.

"He's a heck of a player who did a great job last season and can be even better this year," coach Danny Hope said in a release. "He can be one of the top players at his position in our league. Getting him back also helps us from a leadership standpoint because we don't have a very big senior class, and he's a great leader and teammate."