STARKVILLE, Miss. - Junior offensive lineman Gabe Jackson announced today his intentions to return to Mississippi State for his senior season. The all-American left guard received feedback from the NFL Draft Advisory Board in December.
A native of Liberty, Miss., Jackson has started all 39 games of his collegiate career at left guard. A two-time all-Southeastern Conference selection, Jackson was named a second team all-American by Phil Steel and FoxSportsNext following the 2012 campaign.
"It has been and will continue to be my dream to play in the National Football League, but after talking with my parents, Coach Mullen and (offensive line) Coach (John) Hevesy, I know the right decision for me is to return to Mississippi State," Jackson said. "I love playing for this university and for all the people of my home state and I'm looking forward to leading this team as a senior."
Jackson is rated the top junior guard prospect in the nation by ESPN's Mel Kiper
There is no doubt that Jackson's return for another season at MSU is huge news. Gabe was a key part of an offensive line that finished third in the SEC in sacks allowed in 2012, and one that will return almost entirely in 2013. Depending on whether or not Tobias Smith decides to return for a sixth season at State, MSU could potentially return its entire offensive line next season. Success on the football field always starts in the trenches, and a fully returning offensive line could bode quite well for State in 2013.
For Gabe, the move also seems to be a very smart one in terms of draft stock. The 2013 draft is chock-full of offensive linemen, and as stated above in the release, Jackson is considered the nation's top junior offensive guard. With a strong 2013 season, he could see his draft stock rise into the first day of the draft for 2014.
Glad to have Gabe Back for another season in maroon and white.