Mississippi State senior punter Jared Cookand junior halfback Jerious Norwood were named to the Coaches All-Southeastern Conference team, released Monday by the league office.
Cook, a 5-foot 10-inch, 188-pound native of Columbus, Georgia was named first-team, all-SEC by the league’s coaches after leading the conference in punting for much of the 2004 season. Cook punted in nine games this season, drawing eight starts. He punted 49 times for 2,143 yards without having one blocked. He averaged 43.7 yards per punt on the season, the fourth-best single-season punting average in school history, is also the 12th best punting average nationally this season. His best game came on October 23rd against Florida when he punted four times for a 55.3 yard average. The longest punt traveled 68 yards and all four punts were downed inside the 20 yard line. Florida returned the four punts a total of six yards. For that performance, the Southeastern Conference named Cook their special team’s player of the week.
Norwood, a 6-foot, 192-pound native of Brandon, Mississippi was accorded second-team designation by the conference coaches. He finished third in the league, and 29th nationally, in rushing with a 95.5-yard per game average. He became just the sixth running back in school history to surpass 1,000 yards rushing in a season. Norwood started all 11 games and rushed for over 100 yards in six of those games including five consecutive 100-plus yards rushing games. His most productive game came against UAB on October when he ran for 24 times for 201 yards, but his longest run from scrimmage came against Alabama on a 50-yard touchdown run.
Twice in the season the Southeastern Conference named Norwood their offensive player of the week for other performances. In the season opener against Tulane on September 4th, Norwood ran 20 times for 112 yards and one touchdown, with the longest run from scrimmage being for 43 yards. Against Florida on October 23rd, Norwood had 29 carries for 174 yards and two touchdowns. The longest run came in the final half minute of that game and that 37-yard touchdown run proved to be the game winner.