Russell, Jackson and Perkins Earn Preseason Honors
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State senior quarterback Tyler Russell was named to the Davey O’Brien Watch List Wednesday, while fellow seniors Gabe Jackson and LaDarius Perkins were voted to the 2013 Preseason Media Days All-SEC Team Thursday. In addition, Perkins was listed on the Doak Walker Award Watch List, the PwC SMU Athletic Forum announced Thursday.
Russell was on his way to SEC Media Days Wednesday when his name appeared on the watch list for the Davey O’Brien Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s best college quarterback. The honor for the oldest and most prestigious national quarterback award came one week after becoming the first player in school history to appear in consecutive years on the Maxwell Award, which is given annually to America’s College Player of the Year since 1937.
State’s signal caller broke 11 single-season school records as a junior, completing 231 passes for 2,897 yards and 24 touchdowns. The 6-4, 220-pounder currently stands as the school’s all-time leader in passing efficiency (136.38), and is only one passing touchdown away from the tying the school record for passing touchdowns (38), held by Derrick Taite (1993-96).
For the second-straight season, Perkins made the watch list for the Doak Walker Award, given yearly to the nation’s top college running back. Earlier this month, the 5-10, 195-pounder became the first running back in school history named to the Maxwell Award watch list, while also being picked for the Hornung Award watch list, given annually to the nation’s most versatile college football player.
The Greenville, Miss., native was also named to the 2013 Preseason All-SEC Second Team Thursday, as voted on by the record 243 voters at SEC Media Days. Already a preseason All-SEC pick by Athlon Sports, the Birmingham News and Phil Steele, Perkins finished second in the SEC last season in all-purpose yards per game (125.8) and became the ninth player in MSU history to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season (1,024). The ball carrier was also one of only two running backs in the country (Adam Muema, San Diego State) to rush for a touchdown in each of his first seven games last fall.
Jackson was named the 2013 Preseason All-SEC First Team Thursday after being selected to the Rotary Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy watch lists the last two weeks. The Liberty, Miss., native made the list for the second-consecutive year after earning All-America honors as a junior in 2012 by Phil Steele, Scout.com, Pro Football Weekly and Sports Illustrated. Jackson, a 2013 preseason All-American by most publications, is widely considered the number one offensive guard prospect in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Russell, Perkins, Jackson and the rest of their teammates begin the 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 on either ABC or ESPN2. For more information on the Maroon and White, follow the program on Twitter at @MStateFB, like the team on Facebook at Facebook.com/MStateFB and join the squad on Instagram at Instagram.com/HailStateFB.