Simmons, Sweat secure preseason watch list honors

Junior defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons and senior defensive end Montez Sweat were both selected to the Nagurski Trophy Watch List, making MSU one of just six Southeastern Conference programs to boast two student-athletes as a preseason candidate for the award. Simmons was also added to the Outland Trophy Watch List on Tuesday.

Posted: Jul 24, 2018 11:21 PM
Updated: Jul 25, 2018 12:26 AM

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Honors continue to roll in for Mississippi State as the Football Writers Association of American released watch lists for the Bronko Nagurski and the Outland Trophy on Tuesday with both trophies featuring a Bulldog as preseason candidates.

Junior defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons and senior defensive end Montez Sweat were both selected to the Nagurski Trophy Watch List, making MSU one of just six Southeastern Conference programs to boast two student-athletes as a preseason candidate for the award. Simmons was also added to the Outland Trophy Watch List on Tuesday.

Simmons and Sweat helped forge a Bulldog defense that ranked 10th nationally in total defense last season, issuing only 306.3 yards per game. It was best total defensive mark at MSU since 1999. Earlier this month, the duo was also named to the Bednarik Award Watch List and selected to the preseason All-SEC First Team.

Despite being double-teamed for most of the 2017 season, Simmons recorded 60 tackles and was tabbed a first-team All-SEC honoree. The Macon, Miss., native ranked 11th in the conference with 12.0 tackles for loss, which includes a career-best five sacks. Defensively, he forced and recovered two fumbles while tallying three blocks on special teams, which tied SMU's Justin Lawler for the national lead.

Simmons also scored twice last season with two touchdowns at Louisiana Tech, becoming the first MSU defensive player since Johnathan Banks in 2009 to score twice in a game. Simmons was also a two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Week honoree in 2017.

Sweat collected a league-best 10.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss in his debut season en route to a first-team All-SEC selection. The 10.5 sacks ranked seventh in MSU single-season annals as he became the first Bulldog to lead the league in sacks since Willie Evans in 2005. That total also tied for eighth nationally last season. His tackle for loss total tied for fifth in Bulldog single-season history.

A three-time SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week recipient in 2017, Sweat recorded at least one tackle for loss in 10 of MSU's 13 games. The Stone Mountain, Ga., native ranked sixth overall on the squad in tackles in 2017 with 46.

The official presentation of the Outland Trophy, which is presented to the nation's top interior lineman, will be made at the Werner Enterprises Outland Trophy Awards Dinner produced by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee on Jan. 9, 2019. Up to seven semifinalists will be named on Nov. 14 and three finalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 19. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2018 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 14. The 2018 Bronko Nagurski Award, which honors the national defensive player of the year, will be awarded on Monday, Dec. 3.

2018 Mississippi State Preseason Honors

Nick Fitzgerald, Sr., QB
Third-Team All-SEC (Media)
Maxwell Award Watch List
Davey O'Brien Award Watch List

Elgton Jenkins, Sr., OL
Rimington Trophy Fall Watch List

Mark McLaurin, Sr., S
Third-Team All-SEC (Media)

Jeffery Simmons, Jr., DT
First-Team All-SEC (Media, Phil Steele)
Athlon Sports Preseason All-American (Second Team)
Bednarik Award Watch List
Outland Trophy Watch List
Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List

Montez Sweat, Sr., DE
First-Team All-SEC (Media, Phil Steele)
Athlon Sports Preseason All-American (Third Team)
Bednarik Award Watch List
Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List

Aeris Williams, Sr., RB
Third-Team All-SEC (Media)
Doak Walker Award Watch List

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 13260

Reported Deaths: 625
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Scott58910
Neshoba51231
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Leake38410
Holmes36523
Rankin3496
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Copiah2784
Attala27014
Lincoln24320
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Harrison2346
Newton2243
Lamar2194
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Pike19611
Adams18615
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Washington1535
Warren1506
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Jasper1393
Oktibbeha13410
Smith13110
Covington1271
Chickasaw12612
Clarke12616
Kemper12510
Lafayette1233
Carroll11310
Wayne1090
Marion1088
Lee1045
Clay993
Winston981
Coahoma983
Lawrence901
Hancock8711
Simpson850
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Wilkinson829
Montgomery781
Sunflower773
Grenada752
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Union715
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Tate591
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Amite521
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Tunica483
Perry462
Jefferson400
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Stone300
Choctaw292
Webster271
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Franklin252
Tishomingo250
Quitman240
Tallahatchie241
George191
Alcorn151
Benton140
Greene71
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 14478

Reported Deaths: 551
CountyConfirmedDeaths
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Marshall6499
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Lee49832
Franklin4476
Shelby43319
Tallapoosa39662
Butler34411
Chambers33623
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Coffee2001
Walker1981
Dallas1973
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Lowndes18610
Houston1644
Morgan1621
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Calhoun1413
Choctaw1414
Pike1360
Colbert1362
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Hale1293
Russell1280
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Randolph1257
Wilcox1187
Marion11310
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Barbour1101
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Greene894
Chilton871
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Monroe282
Clay272
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Lamar200
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Fayette110
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