Rashad Fortenberry’s college career was in limbo from Dec. 30 until Friday when the NCAA granted him a medical hardship waiver and fifth year of eligibility due to a back injury that kept him inactive for most of the 2012 season.

Fortenberry, a 6-foot-5, 285-pounder who started all 13 games last season at right tackle, is eligible to play for Texas Tech in 2014.

It’s great news for the Red Raider coaching staff as it prepares for spring football practices to commence Wednesday. There’s just not a lot of offensive tackle depth behind Fortenberry, and the offensive line has had major depth and injury problems stemming back to 2011.

That could change this summer, however, with two junior college transfers arriving on campus in Dominique Robertson and Shaquille Davis.

Robertson is expected to immediately contest with last year’s starting left tackle, Le’Raven Clark, for the left tackle position. The coaching staff would like it if Robertson won out because all of his experience to this point in time has been at left tackle while Clark — likely a future NFL Draft pick — has proven himself as a versatile player in the past.

Clark would most likely start at right tackle if Robertson is given the left spot, actually putting Fortenberry in a backup or rotational role.

The primary plan for Davis when he was being recruited was to start him out at the guard positions. If Fortenberry’s appeal for another year of eligibility had been denied, Davis would have been considered to begin his Texas Tech career as a tackle.

With Fortenberry back in the mix, the Red Raiders finally should have at least three solid tackles to work with in Robertson, Clark and Fortenberry himself with Davis serving as a less preferred fourth option.