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With sixth year approved, Wenger looks to Florida

Mar 22, 2011, 1:30 PM EDT


Lost in all the Michael Floyd mess was the news that center Dan Wenger, who missed all of two full seasons with injuries, has been approved by the NCAA for a rare sixth year, thanks to medical hardship.

While the NCAA opened the door for Wenger to return to the field, after two serious concussions last season, that return will have to be at a different school, as the Notre Dame medical staff hasn’t approved Wenger to play for the Irish.

The South Bend Tribune’s Eric Hansen has the details:

“In good conscience, we just couldn’t clear him,” Kelly said. “I met with Dan and his family and let them know where we stood. But the young man still wants to play and I’m not going to stand in the way of that.”

With Wenger on the lookout for a final football season, the Florida native called on two familiar coaches, Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis and offensive line coach Frank Verducci, who both worked hand-in-hand with Wenger and understand what he brings to the table as a veteran lineman who can play both center and guard.

The deal is far from done, but it certainly could be a good fit, provided Wenger is healthy and able to return to form. The Gators are losing veteran center Mike Pouncey, who leaves a vacancy in the middle of the Florida offensive line.

With the numbers on the Irish roster incredibly tight, both Wenger and possibly Matt Romine are looking to continue their playing careers closer to home, and Kelly seems to be more than accommodating.

  1. ndreece - Mar 22, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    I wish him nothing but good luck. I do worry a bit about the concussions. Maybe ND was being a little tight on the medical okay due to roster limitations.

    • whisk3yjack - Mar 22, 2011 at 3:38 PM

      You should worry a bit more about the concussions. Another one could leave him a vegetable, and Notre Dame would be crucified for it. Kelly made the right decision by releasing him.

      • borromini - Mar 22, 2011 at 6:38 PM

        I agree whisk3yjack.

  2. tlndma - Mar 22, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    Keith, what’s up with Romine?

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