Fresno State is likely to petition the NCAA for a medical hardship waiver for senior running back Malique Micenheimer, who is out for the season following surgery to repair a shoulder injury suffered in the Bulldogs' loss to Nebraska.
"We have a little bit of a process to go through, but I think that's what he wants to do," coach Tim DeRuyter said Monday. "He's planning right now to graduate in the spring. He has an internship to do in the summer. Hopefully, we can get that stuff lined up and we can get him into grad school and get another year for him."
Micenheimer, who played as a true freshman and has a redshirt year available, fits the criteria to get the year back. He did not participate in more than 20% of the Bulldogs' completed games, and the injury occurred in the first half of the season.
After big runs against Southern Utah, T.J. Thomas in for kickoff returns?
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With Dillon Root likely out this week with a lower leg injury, the Bulldogs took a look at some options returning kickoffs. At this point, they are likely to go with running back T.J. Thomas, who made an immediate impression in his first game since moving back to offense in the victory over Southern Utah.
Thomas, who played as an inside linebacker in the spring and started there this season, rushed for 49 yards on six plays including a 17-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter when he broke a number of tackles. For a unit that has had difficulty maintaining a physicality, that run certainly stood out.
"I liked how he ran the other day and he's been a part of our kickoff return unit before, taking kicks," DeRuyter said. "He didn't get a whole lot of reps this summer because of the situation he put himself in (Thomas was suspended for the first two games for a violation of team rules), but he's come back with a renewed vigor since he was out and he ran really, really, hard on Saturday. That's the kind of effort that you want in a kickoff return guy."