Coaches Tab Jackson, Whitley and Johnson For All-SEC Honors

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Gabe Jackson, Nickoe Whitley and Malcolm Johnson were recognized by the SEC coaches on Tuesday for their play on the field.
Photo Courtesy of Bill Simmonds

STARKVILLE, Miss. – With another day comes another honor for Gabe Jackson.

On Tuesday, the senior guard from Liberty, Miss., was voted first-team All-SEC by the league coaches one day after receiving the same recognition from the Associated Press.

This time, though, he wasn’t alone as senior safety Nickoe Whitley was named to the second team along with junior tight end Malcolm Johnson.

Whitley was also voted honorable mention by the AP.

“All three are very deserving,” said MSU coach Dan Mullen, whose 6-6 team faces Rice on Dec. 31 in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. “They give us relentless effort each day, and that has resulted in their excellent play on the field.”

Last week, Jackson became the first offensive lineman to win the C Spire Conerly Trophy winner while also tabbed as the first Kent Hull Award recipient as top offensive lineman in Mississippi.

He has also been instrumental in helping MSU to one of its best offensive seasons in program history, averaging 426.2 yards a game, which is on pace to break the single-season record of 422.0 yards per contest, set in 1982. The Bulldogs’ 5,114 total yards are good for second on the program’s single-season chart behind the 2010 squad’s 5,217 yards.

Whitley made two of the biggest defensive plays for the Bulldogs all season with a pair of forced fumbles. He halted a potential game-winning drive by Arkansas and ended the Egg Bowl by jarring the ball away from Bo Wallace.

He was tabbed the Dec. 2 Co-SEC Defensive Player of the Week following his Egg Bowl heroics. A native of Jackson, Miss., Whitley is the FBS active leader in career interceptions with 15 and owns 229 career tackles.

He also excelled against then No. 1 Alabama with two touchdowns-saving tackles, chasing down T.J. Yeldon at the MSU 28-yard line during the Crimson Tide’s final drive of the opening half and breaking up a pass in the end zone on the Crimson Tide’s first play of the fourth quarter.

Johnson is currently third on the team with 29 receptions for  378 yards. Named to the Mackey Award watch list earlier this season, he has 50 receptions for 755 yards and six touchdowns.


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