Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

Bulldog Seniors Earn Preseason Recognition from League Media

Mississippi State selected its representatives for SEC Media Days well. The entire trio was correspondingly picked today to the media’s preseason All-SEC teams.

Wide receiver Fred Ross was voted to the second team offense; while linebacker Richie Brown and defensive end A.J. Jefferson were both on the third team defense. The three teams all had the same ‘lineup’ of two receivers and tight end, two backs, a quarterback and five down linemen; with a standard 4-3 defense scheme.

Making the second squad was a follow-up to how Ross was recognized after his 2015 season. The then-junior was a second-team All-SEC selection by league media, but was a first-team pick by the conference coaches. He became the first Bulldog receiver named first-team All-SEC in either listing since Eric Moulds in 1995 (Justin Jenkins was second team in 2003).

Last year Ross became only the second Bulldog wideout to net 1,000 receiving yards, with 1,007. And his 88 receptions broke a program record set in 1970. He scored five receiving touchdowns and returned a punt 77 yards for another score.

For Brown and Jefferson, third-team status in the preseason is their first all-league recognition. Though, Brown did earn Defensive Player of the Week for his work in the win at Auburn last September. He finished the junior season with 109 tackles, the first triple-digit total by a Bulldog since Cam Lawrence in 2012.

Jefferson enjoyed a breakout year in his first starting season at end. Of his 47 tackles, 13.5 were for losses and 5.0 of those were credited sacks. He had seven more credited ‘hurries’.

These three seniors al attended Tuesday’s shift at SEC Media Days in Hoover, which certainly helped raise their profile with the 300-plus media members who cast votes for the all-league teams.

In other Bulldog football news, running back Brandon Holloway was named to the watch list for the Paul Hornung Award today. The honor goes to the college game’s best all-around offensive threat whether running, throwing, receiving, and returning the ball.

Holloway is one of the two FBS players returning this season after in 2015 rushing for 400-plus yards, receiving for 300-plus yards, and returning for 500-plus yards.

The wideout-turned-receiver has already earned nomination for both the Doak Walker Award (running backs) and Wuerffel Trophy (community service and academics).

As of Friday morning, other MSU nominees for national post-season honors are:

LB Richie Brown (Nagurski Trophy, Butkus Award); OC Jamaal Clayborn (Rimington Trophy); WR Fred Ross (Biltetnikoff Award).

Reporting date for Mississippi State is August 1, with the opening preseason practice the next day. The full camp schedule is due to be announced in the coming week.

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