K.J. Wright had two big moments wrapped up in one.
The Mississippi State linebacker was selected by Seattle in the fourth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday, then moments later walked across the stage at graduation to receive his diploma. He had to contain his excitement when the Seahawks called.
“I had to whisper, so I really couldn’t talk to them that loud,” Wright said on a conference call with NFL reporters. “I couldn’t celebrate like I wanted to, so it was a little different.”
Wright had 98 tackles and 3.0 sacks last season, and he led the team with nine pass break-ups.
Two of Wright’s MSU teammates were also selected Saturday, bringing the total number of Bulldogs drafted this year to four, the most for the school since 2001, when four were taken. Defensive end Pernell McPhee was selected late in the fifth round by Baltimore (165th overall), and linebacker Chris White was taken by Buffalo early in the sixth round, four picks later.
White led MSU in tackles (110), tackles-for-loss (15.5) and sacks (6.0). McPhee made 35 tackles, 10.0 tackles forloss and 2.0 sacks.
Offensive tackle Derek Sherrod was drafted on Thursday by Green Bay with the final pick of the first round.
• More draft coverage, Page 5B
Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal