MSU’s Whitley, Jones earn honors from SEC

8TB6_MSU_primary_logoDaily Journal

STARKVILLE – Two Mississippi State student-athletes were awarded by the Southeastern Conference for their play in last week’s Egg Bowl.

Senior safety Nickoe Whitley was named SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week while defensive lineman Chris Jones was awarded SEC Co-Freshman of the Week by the league office on Monday.

Whitley shared the award with Missouri cornerback E.J. Gaines and Jones split his honor with LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings.

Whitley finished Thursday night’s overtime win against Ole Miss with five tackles, one interception, a quarterback hurry and forced the game-winning fumble in overtime. It was the second straight week Whitley has forced a late fumble to win the game.

The Jackson native currently leads the team with five interceptions and has 15 for his career, the most among active FBS players and one shy of the school record.

Whitley is the first MSU player to win SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors since Chris White did so twice in 2010.

Jones also finished with five tackles, two stops for loss, a sack, a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry against the Rebels. The Houston native leads State with seven tackles for loss and three sacks this season.

Jones was the first Bulldog to claim the honor since Benardrick McKinney did so last year.