Mississippi State Football’s Emerson, Wally Earn National Postseason Accolades

Published 7:00 am Thursday, December 24, 2020

STARKVILLE – The postseason honors have started to roll in for the Mississippi State football program, as sophomore Martin Emerson garnered All-America honors from PFF, and freshman Jaden Walley was named second-team Freshman All-America by The Athletic.

Emerson is the first Bulldog to garner All-American honors since 2018, when the quartet of Johnathan AbramElgton JenkinsJeffery Simmons and Montez Sweat each earned national postseason laurels. He is the first cornerback to earn national accolades since Johnthan Banks and Darius Slay were each tabbed All-Americans in 2012.

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The No. 6 cover corner in the FBS according to PFF, Emerson ended the regular season ranked No. 10 nationally with 11 forced incompletions. He posted career highs in tackles (67) and pass breakups (9) and equaled his career total of 1.5 tackles for loss entering the season. In 10 games, Emerson has allowed just one touchdown reception, according to PFF, normally finding himself matched up one-on-one with the opponents best wide receiver.

The first Mississippi State wide receiver to garner any national postseason honors since 1980 and the first wide receiver to earn Freshman All-America honors since 1977, Walley broke a pair of 43-year-old MSU freshman records during his impressive rookie campaign.

The D’Iberville, Mississippi, native continues to write his name among the best pass catchers in State history, joining Mardye McDole‘s as the only wideouts in program history to earn national honors at wide receiver. McDole was an All-America pick by The Sporting News in 1980 after earning Freshman All-America laurels in 1977. Walley was also named to the Freshman All-SEC team this season.

Walley surpassed McDole’s freshman record for receiving yards in a season (691) and receiving yards in a single game (176; at Ole Miss) in 2020. He ended the regular season with four consecutive 100-yard receiving performances and, in the process, setting the freshman record for overall 100-yard receiving performances. He was also the first rookie in school history to post back-to-back 100-yard receiving games.

On the season, he appeared in all 10 games for the Bulldogs with seven starts. Walley amassed his 691 receiving yards on 48 catches with two touchdowns, which includes a career-long 51-yard touchdown reception against Georgia. His 48 receptions are No. 3 nationally among true freshmen and rank No. 9 overall in the SEC.