Russell, Banks Honored for Bulldogs

Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell and Vanderbilt cornerback Andre Hal are the Southeastern Conference offensive and defensive players of the week.

Russell passed for 274 yards and four touchdowns without an interception in a win over Arkansas to earn the league award on Monday.

Hal had two interceptions in the Commodores’ victory over Tennessee with returns of 30 and 36 yards

LSU return man Odell Beckham Jr. earned special teams player of the week honors after returning a punt 89 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of a come-from-behind win over Mississippi.

LSU center P.J. Lonergan received offensive line honors while Kentucky tackle Donte Rumph is defensive lineman of the week.

Meanwhile, Mississippi State All-American defensive back Johnthan Banks was named one of three finalists for the 2012 Jim Thorpe Award, the Jim Thorpe Association announced Monday. Banks joins Fred Smoot (2000) as the only two players in school history to be named a finalist for the award, which is given annually to the top defensive back in college football.

A midseason All-American by six different media outlets, Banks is tied for third in the SEC with four interceptions (tied for 13th nationally) and is tied for fifth in the league in passes defended. For the season, the Conerly Trophy finalist has intercepted four passes, forced a fumble, recovered a fumble and broken up six passes.

The first player in school history to be named a semifinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, Banks ranks in the top 10 in the FBS among active players in career interception return yards (1st, 320), career interceptions (T-3rd, 16), interceptions returned for touchdowns (T-6th, 3), interceptions per game (7th, .33) and career pass breakups (8th, 25).

Joining Banks as finalists are Dee Milliner from the University of Alabama and Phillip Thomas from Fresno State. Banks and the two other finalists will be highlighted on ESPNU during The Home Depot College Football Awards Nomination Special airing Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. (CT). This year’s Jim Thorpe Award winner will be revealed on ESPN during The Home Depot College Football Awards airing live from the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk at the Walt Disney World Resort on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m. (CT).

The Jim Thorpe Award Banquet will be held on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 in Oklahoma City, Okla., at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

For more information on Banks and the MSU football program, follow the team on Twitter at @MStateFB and like the team on Facebook at

Johnthan Banks’ 2012 Honors
● Jim Thorpe Award Finalist (Second in school history)
● Lott IMPACT Trophy Semifinalist (First in school history)
● Chuck Bednarik Award Semifinalist (First in school history)
● Senior CLASS Award Finalist (First in school history)
● Conerly Trophy Finalist
● Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List
● Paul Hornung Award Watch List
● Midseason First-Team All-American and First-Team All-SEC:, CBS Sports, Sporting News, Phil Steele
● Midseason Second-Team All-American: Sports Illustrated,
● Week 10 SEC Community Service Team Player of the Week
● Week Eight Honors: Hornung Award Honor Roll (1 of 3 players nationally)
● Week Seven Honors: Hornung Award Honor Roll (1 of 3 players nationally)
● Week Two Honors: Jim Thorpe National Defensive Back of the Week, SEC Defensive Player of the Week, National Defensive Player of Week, All-Purpose Performer of the Week, Hornung Award Honor Roll

Read more: – SEC names Russell Hal Beckham players of week

Categories: College Sports, Local Sports

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