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Players with Mississippi ties suiting up for the 2024 Reese’s Senior Bowl

Photo courtesy of Reese's Senior Bowl

The Reese’s Senior Bowl, widely regarded as the preeminent college football all-star game, is set to kick off this Saturday with a handful of Mississippians planning to play.

The Magnolia State and its colleges have a long history of performance in the game – from NFL Hall of Famers Walter Payton and Brett Favre to recent Senior Bowl Hall of Famers Dak Prescott and Patrick Willis. Here’s this year’s list of players with Mississippi ties looking to up their draft stock in Mobile.

Jaden Crumedy, Mississippi State DL

A husky, 6’5, 300-pound graduate student from Hattiesburg, Crumedy began wreaking havoc his freshman season in Starkville. During his five-year career at Mississippi State, the interior defensive linemen finished with 119 tackles, 14.5 tackles for a loss, and 6.5 sacks. Additionally, his blocked kick against Louisiana Tech helped the Bulldogs earn a comeback victory in 2021.

McKinley Jackson, Texas A&M

The Lucedale native accomplished numerous accolades during his time in College Station, including All-SEC Freshman team in 2020 and preseason All-SEC in 2023. The 6’2, 325-pound Jackson finished his four-year career with 91 tackles, 15.5 tackles for a loss, and 7.5 sacks.

Cedric Johnson, Ole Miss DL

Playing in 46 games for the Rebels, the defensive end was hard to stop all four years with 19 sacks and 106 tackles. This year included three pass deflections and a forced fumble. For his effort, the 6’3, 265-pound Johnson was awarded the 2023 Chucky Mullins Award.

Nathaniel “Bookie” Watson, Mississippi State LB

One of the most remarkable linebacker talents in the history of the state and program, Watson appeared in 57 games with 39 starts. The 2023 AP SEC Defensive Player of the Year finished his career with 379 tackles, 21 sacks, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles.

Khyree Jackson, Oregon DB

Although Jackson’s connection to the Magnolia State isn’t as tangible as the other guys on this list, he did enroll at East Mississippi Community College before eventually transferring to Fort Scott Community College in Kansas, earning a scholarship to Alabama where he posted 14 tackles in 21 games. After two seasons in Tuscaloosa, the 6’3, 195-pounder transferred to Oregon where he totaled 34 tackles, three interceptions, and two sacks to earn a sport on the All-Pac 12 team.

Brendan Rice, USC WR

Brendan’s connection to Mississippi is familial as he is the son of all-time great and Mississippi native Jerry Rice. During Brendan’s three-year career (two at Colorado and one at USC), he had 66 receptions for 1,030 yards (15.6 avg) with nine touchdowns, plus 22 kickoff returns for 555 yards (25.2 avg), an 81-yard punt return touchdown, and six carries for 54 yards (9.0 avg) while appearing in 31 games with 24 starts.

The 2024 Reese’s Senior Bowl will kick off for the 74th year at Hancock Whitney Stadium on Saturday at 12 p.m. It will be broadcast on the NFL Network.

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