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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Aairon Savage granted sixth year of eligibility

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn defensive back Aairon Savage, who has missed the last two seasons with various injuries, has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, the school confirmed Thursday.

Savage tore an ACL on the eve of the 2008 season before tearing his Achilles' tendon last summer, keeping him off the field in 2009.

The NCAA normally allows student-athletes five years to complete four years of competition. But schools can petition the NCAA on the athlete's behalf for an extra year if he missed two seasons for injury reasons.

Savage, an Albany, Ga., native, redshirted in 2005. He earned freshman All-SEC honors in 2006 after starting 11 games and making 53 tackles. He missed six games due to injury in 2007, finishing with 26 tackles in seven games.

“We’re very happy for Aairon that he has received a sixth year of eligibility,” Auburn head coach Gene Chizik said. “The last few years have been difficult for him, but Aairon has worked extremely hard and shown a tremendous amount of determination to get to where he is today. We look forward to seeing him in an Auburn uniform this fall.”

Savage's return is a boost for an Auburn secondary that has questions marks. Safety Zac Etheridge's return remains uncertain after he suffered a scary neck injury last November. Fellow safety Mike McNeil missed all of 2009 with a broken leg.

Savage has played both safety and cornerback in his career.

He graduated in December 2008 with a degree in exercise science and is currently pursuing a graduate degree.

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