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From Staff Reports
Mississippi State had three players selected to the Southeastern Conference Preseason Media Teams including defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, offensive tackle Addison Lawrence and offensive guard Gabe Jackson.
The Bulldogs are projected to finish fourth in the SEC Western Division and received one first-place vote to win the division coming off a 9-4 season that included a 52-14 victory over Michigan in the 2011 Gator Bowl.
South Carolina is picked to win the Eastern Division in back-to-back years for the first time in school history and Alabama is selected to win the Western Division after finishing fourth last season. Overall, the Crimson Tide were selected to be the SEC champions with 98 of a possible 167 first-place votes.
Cox, a junior defensive lineman, was the only MSU player named to a second-team selection and only player on both the media and coachesâ€™ ballots. Cox, a Yazoo City native, posted 29 tackles on the 2010 season with 6.5 coming behind the line of scrimmage He also had 2.5 sacks and four quarterback hurries last year.
Jackson started all 13 games at left guard during his redshirt freshman season and earned an SEC All-Freshman selection by the coaches after the 2010 campaign. The Liberty native helped pave the way for the Bulldogs rushing attack that averaged 214.8 yards per game, 16th in the country and second-highest average in the SEC.
Lawrence, a former high school tight end, is expected to start another season at right tackle in 2011 for Mississippi State, after grading out at 80 percent or higher 10 times, including each of the last eight contests last year including a total of 43 knockdown blocks.