Blackburn granted sixth year of eligibility

Senior center Spencer Blackburn. Blackburn returns for his sixth year of eligibility and is the only one of EWU's five co-captains returning for the 2019 season.

EWU Athletics

Senior center Spencer Blackburn. Blackburn returns for his sixth year of eligibility and is the only one of EWU's five co-captains returning for the 2019 season.

By Taylor Newquist, Sports Editor

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One of EWU’s five senior co-captains from its 2018 FCS runner-up campaign is returning for another season.

All-American center Spencer Blackburn was granted a sixth-year of eligibility from the NCAA on Feb. 14. Blackburn’s request was a “cut-and-dry” situation, having redshirted his first season and missing out on his second season with a thumb injury.

Blackburn said that his main reason for coming back another year was to finish his second degree in economics, already having obtained an accounting degree. He said it will be easier for him to take his CPA exam to become a certified public accountant right out of college.

“If there’s any chance at the next level of football I’m going to pursue that opportunity,” Blackburn told The Easterner in a phone interview on Feb. 15. “But my main plan is to work at an accounting firm.”

Blackburn returns to an Eagle offense that should remain potent next season with soon-to-be junior quarterback Eric Barriere taking charge, and running backs Antoine Custer and Tamarick Pierce splitting carries.

Blackburn remained confident in next years team despite the departure of a large senior class. He said that the number of injuries the team suffered toward the end of the season provided great experience to the younger players.

“I think we made a new standard,” Blackburn said. “I expect us to be as dominate as we were last season.”

With next year’s nonconference schedule featuring road trips to Washington and Jacksonville State, and Big Sky schedule having away games at Idaho, Idaho State and Montana, Blackburn’s ability to command the offensive line will play a pivotal role.

“We’re excited and eager for Spencer to be back with us again in 2019,” head coach Aaron Best said. “We’re happy that he will continue to be a leader and example for his brothers on and off the field for one more season.”

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