The defensive tackle suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in preseason practice last August and could not play as a redshirt senior.
On Monday, Auburn announced that Doolittle has been granted an extra year of eligiblity by an NCAA committee.
Doolittle has 19 career tackles, but was having his best preseason last August prior to his injury. He was challenging for a starting spot at either noseguard or tackle.
The defensive lineman says he will re-enroll in classes in May and continue to rehab his injury. “The doctor hasn’t fully cleared me,” Doolittle says. “I am doing treadmill and pool work so I am still waiting on getting back to 100 percent.”
A 2003 signee out of Opelika High School, where he was a highly regarded prospect, Doolittle was a heavily recruited player.
Tez Doolittle makes a tackle for the Tigers.
Head coach Tommy Tuberville says that Auburn will have a scholarship available for the lineman and notes he hopes Doolittle can make a strong recovery from what is an extremely serious injury for a football player.
Doolittle, who attended classes into December after being injured in August, says he has been rehabbing since then, but is not taking classes at AU this semester.
Doolittle, who can play both inside defensive line positions, was pushing for a starting assignment last year when he was injured even though there was major competition from Josh Thompson and Pat Sims. However, noseguard Thompson has graduated and Sims, a junior tackle last fall, has declared himself eligible for the NFL Draft.
Doolittle says he is not making any assumptions that he will be a starter for the Tigers, but says that is his goal. “I am telling those guys look out,” he says. "I am excited about having the chance to play again."
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