Kent Hull Trophy, tribute banquet announced
The late Kent Hull of Greenwood and Mississippi State embodied all we respect in an offensive lineman: strength, quickness, toughness, intelligence, intense work ethic and humility.
The Kent Hull Trophy annually will go to the Mississippi college offensive lineman who most displays those traits that enabled Hull to play in three Pro Bowls, four Super Bowls and become one of the most respected linemen and leaders in the National Football League.
Sponsored by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Friends of Kent Hull, the award winner will be chosen by a panel of experts, including scouts and coaches. The award will be given each year at the C Spire Conerly Trophy Banquet.
Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, one of Hull’s closest friends, will speak at A Tribute to Kent Hull Banquet at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on Sept. 24, to help raise funding for the award and for the museum. There will be a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by the banquet at 6:30. For ticket and sponsorship information, click here.
Hull, who started at center at Mississippi State as a 200-pound freshman, went on to play in four Super Bowls and three Pro Bowls. He died Oct. 18, 2011.
“Kent was the heartbeat of the Buffalo Bills,” Kelly said at the time of Hull’s death. “He was the leader of the Buffalo Bills. People talk about Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas and Jim Kelly, but if you were looking for the glue to it all you looked no further than number 67.”
“It was a privilege to coach Kent Hull,” said long-time Bills coach Marv Levy. “He was a great leader, he was our leader.”
“Kent Hull was a great football player, but he was an even better person, and a wonderful representative of the state of Mississippi,” Scott Stricklin, athletic director at Mississippi State said. “His skills on the gridiron were complimented by a humble and generous spirit off the field. It’s fitting that the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame would recognize the best offensive lineman in our state with an award that honors Kent.”
Rick Cleveland, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, covered Hull first as freshman center at
Mississippi State and then in four Super Bowls.
“Kent never changed,” Cleveland said. “He was like a wise, old man at 18 and all the success in the NFL never changed him. He was a good ol’ boy, Charlie Hull’s boy, from Greenwood.
“Kent was just solid, as solid as they come,” Cleveland said. “He was a great player, a better person. Emory Bellard once said Kent was as tough as ‘a rollin’ bunch of butcher knives,’ and on the field he was. But he also had one of the kindest hearts of any athlete I’ve known.”
Traditionally, offensive linemen are the least publicized, least celebrated of all football players, yet they are critical to the success of any team.
“I think Kent would love the fact that his name is attached to an award that draws attention to — and recognizes the importance of — offensive linemen,” Cleveland said.
The Kent Hull Trophy is being sculpted by renowned Brookhaven sculptor J. Kim Sessums.
Tickets and table sponsorships to the Kent Hull Appreciation Banquet are available by calling the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum at 601 982-8264.