STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State junior defensive back Derek Pegues (Batesville, Miss.) has been selected to the 2007 Jim Thorpe Award watch list, the organization announced from its Oklahoma City headquarters.
Presented annually to the nation's best college defensive back, the Thorpe Award is one of college football's most prestigious awards. It is named after history's greatest all-around athlete, a man who excelled not only as an offensive and defensive back in football, but one who also played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.
Pegues was one of just 35 defensive backs nationally to be included on the initial watch list, one of only four from the Southeastern Conference. He was selected pre-season, all-SEC by both the league's coaches and the media during the past two weeks.
A second-team all-SEC defensive back and kick returner last year, he finished eighth in the conference in interceptions in 2006 with four picks, and second and fifth, respectively, in the league in punt and kickoff returns. His punt return yardage total was the fifth-highest single-season mark in school history.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State head football coach Sylvester Croom welcomed 105 Bulldog players back to campus Tuesday afternoon, officially kicking off preparations for the 2007 season, the 108th in the history of the sport at the school, Croom's fourth at the head of the program.
After reporting in to the Holliman Athletic Center during the early afternoon Tuesday, the players received their residence hall assignment, a training camp schedule, and were fitted for equipment. The players weighed in before attending their first team meal of the '07 campaign.
A team administrative meeting dealing with university rules, plus athletic department regulations governing the equipment and locker rooms, training room, and weight facility preceded a football orientation presentation by Croom.
The Bulldogs practice for the first time Wednesday night in shorts and head gear only.