Mississippi State offensive guard Gabe Jackson will return for his senior season, the school announced today.
Jackson, a 6-foot-4, 320-pound junior, had received feedback from the NFL Draft Advisory Board in December. He’s rated as the top junior guard in the country by ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., but Jackson decided it was best to play one more year of college ball.
“It has been and will continue to be my dream to play in the National Football League, but after talking with my parents, coach (Dan) Mullen and (offensive line) coach (John) Hevesy, I know the right decision for me is to return to Mississippi State,” Jackson said in a statement. “I love playing for this university and for all the people of my home state, and I’m looking forward to leading this team as a senior.”
Jackson is a two-time All-SEC selection and has 39 career starts under his belt. He was named second-team All-American by Phil Steele and FoxSportsNext after this past season.
His return is not unexpected, but it’s still a big deal for an MSU offensive line that had its share of struggles this season. Unless guard Tobias Smith gets a sixth year of eligibility, MSU will have four returning starters for the 2013 season.