By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
Kent Hull, the former Mississippi State and Buffalo Bills offensive lineman, died Tuesday.
The school announced Hull’s passing, but no cause of death was given. A native of Pontotoc who grew up in Greenwood, he was 50.
Hull played for the Bulldogs from 1979-82, earning his first start as a freshman and becoming a full-time starting center the next three years. After a three-year stint with the USFL’s New Jersey Generals, Hull played 11 seasons with the NFL’s Bills (1986-96).
Hull was named a Pro Bowler three times and led Buffalo to four consecutive Super Bowl berths (1991-94).
At State, he never earned all-SEC honors, which former teammate Wayne Harris believes was an oversight.
Harris, a right guard, earned the accolade three consecutive years and thinks Hull should’ve, too.
“I guess it’s just kind of hard to describe, because for all those years I’d stick my left arm out and touch him,” said Harris, who was also his teammate in New Jersey. “It’s hard to believe. Just as dependable and hard-working as there’s ever been.”
Hull played a key role in MSU’s biggest win in school history, a 6-3 triumph over No. 1 Alabama in 1980.
He made a difference off the field, too. His annual golf tournament that benefited the Blair Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson.
“He has a lot of friends, made a lot of friends, and has made a good impression with his personality and demeanor over all these years,” Harris said. “I know he was very well thought of, and I certainly did.”
Hull is a member of the MSU Hall of Fame (2000) and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame (2003). He is currently on the ballot for the 2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, and his name is on the Bills Wall of Fame at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Hull is survived by his wife, Kay, and two children, Drew and Ellen. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.