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Mississippi State safety Marcus Murphy opts out of 2020 season

Bulldogs lose a big piece of their defense.

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State junior safety Marcus Murphy took to Twitter on Thursday to announce that he is opting out of the rest of the 2020 season.

“After careful consideration of what is best for me and my family moving forward, I have decided to opt out of the 2020 football season,” Murphy tweeted. “I appreciate the love and support I’ve received during my time at Mississippi State University.”

Being a junior, Murphy could, theoretically, return to the Bulldogs next season, but it is unclear at this time what he will decide to do.

In 23 career games, the native of West Point, Mississippi, recorded 67 tackles and two interceptions.

Through six games in 2020, Murphy was the Bulldogs’ fourth-leading tackler with 34 total tackles, including one tackle for loss. During last week’s 24-17 homecoming win over Vanderbilt, he finished with a season-high 10 tackles.

The loss is especially hard on a Mississippi State secondary that already lost starting free safety Fred Peters to a season-ending injury last month.

MSU was scheduled to play No. 24 Auburn on Saturday, but that game has been moved to Dec. 12 due to MSU’s inability to meet the 53-scholarship player threshold the Southeastern Conference requires each team to meet in order to play.

The Bulldogs are scheduled to play No. 12 Georgia on Nov. 21 in Athens, Georgia.