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Mississippi State DT Nathan Pickering opts out of 2020 season

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The Bulldogs lose another player for the 2020 season.

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Kentucky Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State sophomore defensive tackle Nathan Pickering announced on Wednesday that he has decided to opt out of the remainder of the 2020 football season. He took to Twitter to announce his decision.

“I love Mississippi State University and all the people surrounding it,” Pickering tweeted. “There’s not a school I rather play for. God has a plan for everything. This is not about transferring but something I have to do. That being said I will be opting out of the 2020 season!”

In five games in 2020, the native of Mount Olive, Mississippi, has recorded 15 tackles and 2.0 sacks as a backup nose tackle. In 2019, he was named to the All-SEC freshman team after he recorded 11 total tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks.

Mississippi State is still scheduled to play No. 13 Georgia on Saturday as of Wednesday, but every scholarship player like Pickering who decides to opt out of the season hurts as Southeastern Conference teams must have at least 53 scholarship student-athletes available in order to play.