Oregon State head football coach Jonathan Smith announced Wednesday that offensive lineman Nathan Eldridge has been admitted to the institution as a graduate student and will join the football team immediately.

Eldridge spent the last three years at Arizona, lettering in 2016 and 2017. He missed last season due to an injury after initially being on the Rimington Trophy Watch List for the nation’s outstanding center in college football the last two years.

The 6-3, 292-pound, Anthem, Ariz., native is immediately eligible after earning a bachelor’s degree in literacy, learning and leadership from Arizona. He started 25 games, including being the first true freshman starting center at Arizona in 10 years during the 2016 season, for then Wildcat offensive line coach and current Beaver run game coordinator/offensive line coach/associate head coach Jim Michalczik.

“Nathan is a tremendous addition to the program,” Smith said. “He brings valuable experience to our offensive line, and his familiarity with Coach Michalczik provides him a great understanding of our offensive philosophies.”

Eldridge was a 2017 Pac-12 Honorable Mention selection, as voted by the league’s coaches, following a season where the Wildcats finished third in the nation for rushing at 324.4 yards per game.

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