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MSU's Fitzgerald will be one of six QBs at SEC Media Days


Nick Fitzgerald

Nick Fitzgerald


Brett Hudson



STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State's Nick Fitzgerald and Ole Miss' Jordan Ta'amu will be two of six quarterbacks to represent their schools next week at SEC Media Days at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. 


Quarterbacks Kyle Shurmur (Vanderbilt), Jake Bentley (South Carolina), Drew Lock (Missouri), and Jarrett Stidham (Auburn) will join Fitzgerald and Ta'amu at the annual event for the league's 14 teams, according to an announcement Wednesday by the SEC. 


Defensive end Gerri Green and safety Mark McLaurin will join Fitzgerald and MSU coach Joe Moorhead at the event. 


Defensive tackle Josiah Coatney and center Sean Rawlings will accompany Ta'amu and Ole Miss coach Matt Luke. 


Alabama running back Damien Harris, center Ross Pierschbacher, and linebacker Anfernee Jennings will join coach Nick Saban. 


SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey will kick off the event Monday.  


Texas A&M, Kentucky, and LSU will be a part of the first day. 


On Tuesday, SEC Coordinator of Officials Steve Shaw will begin the day. Georgia, Ole Miss (9 a.m.), Arkansas, and Florida will be featured. 


On Wednesday, Bill Hancock, the executive director of the College Football Playoff, will start the day. MSU (9 a.m.), Tennessee, Alabama (1:30 p.m.), and Missouri will complete the activity. 


Auburn, Vanderbilt, and South Carolina will complete the festivities Thursday. 


The SEC Network will broadcast live throughout each day. 




Pitcher Ashcraft leaves baseball team 


Mississippi State pitcher Graham Ashcraft won't return to the baseball program, The Dispatch has learned through a source. The source told The Dispatch that Ashcraft has informed his MSU teammates he won't be back for the 2019 season. 


MSU said it couldn't comment on the matter. 


Ashcraft, a 6-foot-2, 217-pound right-hander from Gurley, Alabama, missed the 2018 season with a hip injury. The same injury to the other hip cut his 2017 season short after 10 appearances (five starts). 


Earlier this week, outfielder Jordan Anderson announced he would transfer to Chipola College.  




NFL's Jets sign former Bulldog Bryant 


Brandon Bryant has a next step in his football career. 


After not getting selected in the NFL Supplemental draft, former Mississippi State safety signed a free-agent deal with the New York Jets. 


Bryant was a useful safety for the 2017 Bulldogs, tallying 32 tackles and a pivotal interception in the win over BYU.  


Bryant missed all of spring practice with what coach Joe Moorhead left as an undefined off-field issue. During Super Bulldog Weekend, Bryant announced he would not be on the 2018 team. 


The New York Giants selected Western Michigan cornerback Sam Beal, while the Washington Redskins picked Virginia Tech cornerback Adonis Alexander. 


Bryant, Oregon State linebacker Bright Ugwoegbu, and Grand Valley State running back Martyveus Carter also were in the draft. 


The NFL Supplemental draft is held every year after the regular draft in April. It is designed to give teams a chance to select players who didn't enter the regular draft and want to play immediately. 


If a player wants to be included in the draft, a formal petition needs to be filed with the league. Not every player is guaranteed admittance. Players need to be at least three years removed from high school to be eligible for the supplemental draft. 




Bulldogs place 53 on First-Year SEC Honor Roll 


Part of MSU's success in the classroom for the 2017-18 year can be attributed to 53 Bulldog newcomers who were named Wednesday to the First-Year Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll. 


The softball team led the way with 10 selections, which was the most among the other SEC schools that sponsor the sport. 


The women's track and field team followed with seven honorees, while the men's squad had six athletes on the honor roll. The women's cross country team had three runners on the list. 


Following one of the best seasons in program history, five members of MSU's women's soccer team were named to the honor roll. 


The Southeastern Conference champion and 2018 national finalist women's basketball team had the conference's most selections in the sport with four. Three members of the National Invitation Tournament semifinalist men's basketball team claimed the accolade. 


The men's golf team also had four named to the honor roll, and the women's golf team joined the volleyball squad with three honorees. 


The baseball team and the SEC tournament champion men's tennis squad had two honorees, while the football team had one player honored. 


Ole Miss had 58 student-athletes on the honor roll. The women's track and field team led the way with 10 honorees. The softball team followed with seven, while the baseball and women's soccer teams had seven. 


Alabama placed 92 on the honor roll. Rookies from 18 teams earned a spot on the league's academic list. Alabama was one of three schools with more than 80 honorees. 


The women's track and field (13), men's swimming and diving (12), football (10) and men's basketball (five) teams led the league in their respective sports. Football, gymnastics, and rowing all ranked second among their respective sports. 


The First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll is based on grades from the 2017-18 academic year. 


A student-athlete must have a grade-point average of 3.0 or above for the preceding academic year (two semesters or three quarters) or have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above at the nominating institution. If a student-athlete attends summer school, his/her GPA during the summer academic term must be included in the calculation used to determine eligibility for the Academic Honor Roll. Student-athletes eligible for the Honor Roll include those receiving an athletics scholarship, recipients of an athletics award (i.e., letterwinner), and non-scholarship student-athletes who have been on a varsity team for two seasons. Prior to being nominated, a student-athlete must have completed 24 semester or 36 quarter hours of non-remedial academic credit toward a baccalaureate degree at the nominating institution. The student-athlete must have been a member of a varsity team for the sport's entire NCAA Championship segment. 


Follow Dispatch sports writer Brett Hudson on Twitter @Brett_Hudson



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