December 10, 2013 11:10:44 AM
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State senior offensive lineman Gabe Jackson said Sunday he doesn't know how to brag about himself. On Monday it was done for him by other sportswriters that cover the league Jackson participates in. The MSU left guard earned first-team All-SEC accolades Monday, while freshman defensive lineman Chris Jones and senior defensive back Nickoe Whitley were honorable mention selections as well. Jackson earned his third AP All-SEC honor while the selections were the first for Jones and Whitley.
Jackson is the first Bulldog with three SEC yearly honors since Derek Pegues was a three-time All-SEC pick from 2006-08.
"The minute you start doing, you start to go backwards as a player," Jackson said Sunday.
Last week Jackson received the Conerly Trophy winner, given to the top player in the state of Mississippi, becoming the first offensive lineman to earn the award. The Liberty, Miss., native was also tabbed as the Kent Hull Award recipient as top offensive lineman in Mississippi.
On the field, Jackson graded out at 88 percent with three knockdowns against No. 1 Alabama a week after being graded at 89 percent with four knockdowns on the road at No. 11 Texas A&M. Jackson is helping MSU to one of its best offensive seasons in program history, averaging 426.2 yards a game, on pace to shatter 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.
"He has worked relentlessly to become a great player. There is no doubt he is one of the best offensive linemen in the country," Mississippi State offensive line coach John Hevesy said. "As a coach, he is everything you look for in a complete player. He will be fun to watch on Sundays."
Jones has booked a team-high 10 quarterback hurries and 7.0 tackles for lost yardage during his debut campaign. The Houston, Miss., product tallied his eighth quarterback hurry in SEC action against Ole Miss, the most by an MSU player during league action in the Dan Mullen era. Jones added a personal-best 2.0 tackles for lost yardage against the Rebels, including his third sack of the campaign.
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.
All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.
2. The beat goes on at 'Unplugged 3' this week ENTERTAINMENT
3. CCT youth: Come on in, meet 'Mississippi Characters' ENTERTAINMENT