STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – After tying the school single-game record for interceptions with three in Mississippi State’s TaxSlayer Bowl victory, junior safety Mark McLaurin has been named to the Associated Press’ national 2017 All-Bowl Team, the organization announced Thursday.
McLaurin, the game’s most valuable player, intercepted 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson three times and registered a game-high 11 tackles, including 0.5 for loss. The Collins, Miss., native became the first Bulldog since Richie Brown against Texas A&M in 2014 to record three picks in a game, joining a list of six to set the school single-game record.
McLaurin was also the first FBS player to intercept three or more passes in a bowl game since Notre Dame’s Harrison Smith did it in the 2010 Sun Bowl against Miami. McLaurin was also only the second Power Five player to record three interceptions in a game this season, joining Iowa’s Joshua Jackson, who had three against Ohio State on Nov. 4.
McLaurin helped lead the Bulldogs to their third straight bowl victory by a score of 31-27 on Dec. 30 in Jacksonville. State finished the year with a 9-4 record and secured a final spot in the national polls, which will be released on Jan. 9.
McLaurin enjoyed a stellar junior campaign, leading the team in tackles (79) and interceptions (6). He added 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, six pass breakups and one forced fumble. McLaurin tied for the SEC lead in interceptions and tied the single-season school-record for picks most recently acquired by Corey Broomfield in 2009.