State's Gabe Jackson wins first Hull Trophy
Mississippi State’s Gabe Jackson, an All American guard rated at the top of his position by NFL draft experts, has been selected the first winner of the Kent Hull Trophy as Mississippi’s most outstanding collegiate offensive lineman.
Jackson will receive the Kent Hull Trophy at the C Spire Conerly Trophy banquet Tuesday night at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Jackson. Jackson, a fifth-year senior from Liberty, also has been named State’s finalist for the C Spire Conerly Trophy.
Said Jackson, upon learning he had won The Hull, “It’s such an honor to be named the top offensive linemen in the state, and for the award to be named in honor of a Mississippi State guy is even more special. But I really have to give credit to my teammates and coaches. It’s all about team, and everyone works together to make sure we get better each day. That’s what has made this place special since I’ve been here.”
Kent Hull was a four-year starter and standout at Mississippi State before going on to a sustained, award-winning professional career with the Buffalo Bills. Hull, who helped the Bills to four Super Bowls, gave back to Mississippi, especially children, with both his time and money.
Said Kay Hull, Kent’s widow: ”The Hull family is very proud of Gabe. His work ethic, leadership and talent embody what this award is all about. I know Kent would be proud the first Kent Hull Trophy is going to a Bulldog.”
Said Rick Cleveland, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, “I covered Kent Hull’s career, and I have watched Gabe Jackson for four years, and especially this past season. Gabe has so many of the qualities, including hard work and leadership, that made Kent Hull special.”
The Hull Trophy winner was selected by a panel of experts, including former professional scouts, former college players and former coaches, including Hall of Famers Jim Carmody,Tom Goode and Hamp Cook.
“Gabe Jackson was like a man among boys; he just dominated whomever he faced,” said Carmody, the former Southern Miss head coach, who also coached at State and Ole Miss and coached and scouted in the NFL.
Jackson has not allowed a sack all season and has graded out a champion (80 percent or above) in every State game.
“Gabe is the reason coaches come to work every day,” John Hevesy, MSU’s offensive line coach said. “In five years with Gabe, there has never been a moment he hasn’t given me and Mississippi State everything he has to give. He has worked relentlessly to become a great player. There is no doubt he is one of the best offensive linemen in the country and very deserving to be the first recipient of the Kent Hull Award. You are going to see a lot more of Gabe Jackson on Sundays.”
Said State head coach Dan Mullen: “Gabe has been a special player from the first day he stepped on campus. Every day at practice, he gives us everything we ask of him and more. He never takes a day off and he always strives to get better. I can’t imagine anyone more deserving of this award than Gabe. He’s certainly earned every recognition he gets.”
Ole Miss freshman offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil and Belhaven senior guard Matt Hall both received strong consideration for the award.
Get your tickets to C Spire Conerly Trophy banquet here.
Rick Cleveland’s tribute to Kent Hull.