STARKVILLE, Miss. - Six Mississippi State football players were named to the 2013 Athlon Sports Preseason All-SEC Team, released Wednesday by the publication. Preseason All-American left guard Gabe Jackson hauled in another first-team honor, leading the way for the Bulldogs. Additionally, MSU had two second-team and three third-team selections join Jackson.
Jackson, a preseason third-team All-American guard by Athlon, earned his third first-team honor of the preseason after previously being selected first-team guard by Phil Steele and the Birmingham News earlier this summer. The senior from Liberty, Miss., is listed by numerous publications as the top offensive guard prospect in next year’s NFL Draft.
Also garnering his third All-SEC honor of the preseason is running back LaDarius Perkins considered by both Phil Steele and the Birmingham News as a second-teamer. Coming into his fourth and final season in Maroon and White, Perkins ranks sixth all-time at MSU with 3,463 all-purpose yards. This past season, he became just the ninth-different Bulldog to rush for 1,000 yards (1,024).
Rounding out offensive honors is junior tight end Malcolm Johnson, selected as a member of Athlon’s third-team. The talented pass catcher has hauled in 21 passes for 377 yards and five touchdowns in just 19 career games.
Coming in to his final season with the Bulldogs, the veteran Whitley was named a member of the second-team by Athlon Sports while also garnering attention as a second-teamer for Phil Steele. Whitley started all 13 games a year ago finishing third on the team in total tackles (88).
McKinney and Autry earned third-team honors for Athlon Sports following strong seasons their first year on campus. McKinney comes in to year two after a freshman All-America campaign in which he was top-five in the country in tackles by a freshman (102). McKinney also was recognized as a second-team All-SEC pick by Phil Steele. Autry comes in to his second and final season as a Bulldog after recording 9.5 tackles for loss last season and 4.0 sacks.
The Bulldogs begin their 2013 season on August 31 in Houston, Texas, at Reliant Stadium against Oklahoma State. The Texas Kickoff Classic is set for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff and will be televised live nationally of ABC and ESPN2.
SEC Schools With Players On Athlon’s First, Second And Third Teams
Alabama – 9
Georgia – 8
Texas A&M – 8
Florida – 7
Vanderbilt – 7
Mississippi State – 6
Ole Miss – 6
Arkansas – 5
LSU – 5
Tennessee – 5
Auburn – 3
Kentucky – 3
Missouri – 3
South Carolina – 3
MSU Preseason Honors
Denico Autry, DE
All-SEC: Phil Steele (Third Team), Athlon Sports (Third Team)
Dillon Day, C
Rimington Trophy Watch List
Gabe Jackson, OG
All-America: Phil Steele (Second Team), Athlon Sports (Third Team)
All-SEC: Phil Steele (First Team), Athlon Sports (First Team), Birmingham News (First Team)
Best SEC Offensive Lineman – Birmingham News
Malcolm Johnson, TE
All-SEC: Athlon Sports (Third Team)
Jameon Lewis, KR
All-SEC: Phil Steele (Second Team)
Benardrick McKinney, LB
All-SEC: Phil Steele (Second Team), Athlon Sports (Third Team)
LaDarius Perkins, RB
All-SEC: Phil Steele (Second Team), Athlon Sports (Second Team), Birmingham News (Second Team)
Baker Swedenburg, P
All-SEC: Phil Steele (Third Team)
Nickoe Whitley, S
All-SEC: Phil Steele (Second Team), Athlon Sports (Second Team)