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Medical waiver gives RB Darius Tice another year at USF

In his first season at South Florida, Charlie Strong will indeed have a very experienced presence patrolling his Bulls backfield.

USF officials confirmed Wednesday that Darius Tice has been granted a medical hardship waiver by the NCAA and will be eligible to play again in 2017. This will be the running back’s final season of eligibility.

Tice sustained what turned out to be a season-ending ankle injury in a Week 4 loss to Florida State. Because he didn’t play in more than 30 percent of USF’s games -- the NCAA rounds up in such instances -- and none of those games came in the second half of the season, the decision to grant the request for a waiver was not much of surprise.

The past four seasons, Tice has run for 874 yards and five touchdowns on 193 carries. His best year came in 2015 when he was third on the team with 460 yards and four touchdowns. He’s also caught 16 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown.

The return of Tice is particularly good news as USF’s leading rusher the past three seasons, Marlon Mack, opted to give up his final season of eligibility for early entry into the 2017 NFL draft.