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Benardrick McKinney continues to rack up preseason recognition.Â
The Mississippi State junior linebacker found his name on two different preseason award watch lists on Monday with the Butkus Award and Rotary Lombardi Award.
The Butkus is given to the top linebacker in college football, while the Lombardi is awarded to the top collegiate lineman or linebacker.
Bulldog sophomore defensive lineman Chris Jones joins McKinney on the Rotary Lombardi Award watch list. There are six different Bulldog players on nine different preseason award watch lists.Â
McKinney is also on the watch list for the Bednarik Award and Nagurski Trophy, both given to the best defensive player in college football.
The Tunica native started all 13 games last season for the Bulldogs. He led MSU with 71 tackles. He also had 3.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries.Â
Jones had 32 total tackles, three sacks and 10 quarterback hurries as a freshman.
The Butkus Award watch list includes 51 candidates, honoring the now-retired professional number of Dick Butkus. The selection panel also includes 51 coaches, evaluators and journalists. Semifinalists will be revealed on Oct. 28, finalists on Nov. 26 and the winner will be announced on Dec. 10.
The Lombardi Award has 300 voters. The first round of voting will cut the list down to 12 semifinalists, while the second round sets the four finalists. The winner will be announced Dec. 10 at the Bayou Music Center in Houston, Texas.Â
MSU adds Tulane
to basketball schedule
MSU announced a home-and-home series with Tulane beginning this season in New Orleans, La.
The Bulldogs and Green Wave will meet Dec. 6 this season, while the two teams will meet at Humphrey Coliseum during the 2015-16 season.
This will be the 93rd meeting between MSU and Tulane with the Bulldogs owning a 54-38 advantage. The last meeting came in the Nokia Sugar Bowl Classic in 2003 with State taking a 72-50 victory.
"Tulane provides yet another high major opponent for us with their move to the American Athletic Conference," MSU head coach Rick Ray said in a school release. "The Green Wave will prove to be a great opponent for us and our fan base. Bulldog fans on the coast and in the New Orleans area will get a chance to see us play and hopefully provide a nice environment for us on the road."
This is the third major conference opponent Ray has scheduled for the next two seasons. The Bulldogs will also play Atlantic Coast Conference foe Florida State and Pac-12 opponent Oregon State during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.Â