Prescott & McKinney named semifinalists for national awards
STARKVILLE (HailState.com) – Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott and linebacker Benardrick McKinney have been named semifinalists for two national awards presented by the Maxwell Football Club, the Maxwell Football Club national selection committee announced Monday. Prescott was named a semifinalist for the 78th annual Maxwell Award, while McKinney was named a semifinalist for the 20th annual Chuck Bednarik Award.
Prescott, also a Heisman Trophy candidate, was one of 20 men named a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award, which is given yearly to the collegiate player of the year. The junior is the first Dan Mullen-coached quarterback since 2008 winner Tim Tebow to be named a semifinalist. Prescott made the cut after tallying 27 total touchdowns in his first eight starts of 2014 (16 passing, 10 rushing, 1 receiving). Thanks to ranking fifth in the FBS in points responsible for per game (20.3), the midseason All-American has led his team to a perfect 8-0 record and MSU's first No. 1 ranking in school history.
McKinney, also a candidate for the 2014 Nagurski Trophy and Lombardi Award, was one of 20 men named a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award, which is given yearly to the most outstanding defensive player of the year. The junior is the first Bulldog to be named a semifinalist for the award since current Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive back Johnthan Banks picked up the nod in 2012. Leading the team with 50 tackles, the midseason All-American is tied for third in the FBS in fumble recoveries (3), while tallying 6.0 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks and a forced fumble. McKinney is also a semifinalist for the Butkus Award, given annually to the best linebacker in the country.
Prescott, McKinney and the rest of the top-ranked Bulldogs return home this Saturday against UT Martin for a 3 p.m. CT Homecoming kickoff on the SEC Network. For more information on the Maroon and White, follow the program on Twitter at @HailStateFB, like the team on Facebook at Facebook.com/HailStateFootball and join the squad on Instagram at Instagram.com/HailStateFB.
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