STARKVILLE, Miss. - Four Mississippi State youngsters were named by the league's coaches to the Freshman all-Southeastern Conference Team, the conference office announced Thursday. Wide receiver Chad Bumphis, defensive lineman Fletcher Cox and defensive backs Johnthan Banks and Corey Broomfield were all named to the team, and the Bulldogs tied South Carolina and Vanderbilt for the conference lead with four honorees on the team.
Bumphis, a true freshman from Tupelo, led the Bulldog offense in receptions (32), yards (375) and receiving touchdowns (4). He is the first freshman (true or redshirt) to lead Mississippi State in receiving since Mardye McDole in 1977.
Cox, a defensive lineman from Yazoo City, Miss., played in all 12 games, earning four starts. He totaled 29 tackles with 3.5 behind the line of scrimmage and one sack.
Banks provided one of the most memorable plays of the Bulldog season with his 100-yard touchdown return of a Florida interception and followed it with another interception return for touchdown in the same game. The Maben, Miss., native became only the third player in SEC history, and the first since 1968 to return two interceptions for touchdowns in the same season. He started the final seven games of the year and finished with four interceptions, tied for fourth most in the conference.
Broomfield, the lone redshirt freshman selected for MSU and a native of Palm Bay, Fla., finished the season tied for second in the conference with six interceptions. Despite starting only three games in the defensive backfield, his six INTs and two returns for touchdowns both tied the school's single-season records. In State's season-ending win over its in-state rival, Broomfield sealed the game with a 64-yard pick six, his second interception of the day.
The total of four players named to the team ties the second-highest total since the league began naming an all-SEC team in 1986. The 2004 team saw five Bulldogs named to the team, while four players made the 2005 squad.