Mississippi State senior offensive lineman Justin Senior is the 2016 recipient of the Kent Hull Trophy presented annually to the state of Mississippi’s most outstanding collegiate offensive lineman, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame announced on Tuesday.
Since 2013, The Kent Hull Trophy annually goes to the offensive lineman who displays the traits that enabled the former Mississippi State legend to play in three Pro Bowls, four Super Bowls and become one of the most respected linemen and leaders in the National Football League.
“It’s an honor to accept this award, especially since it’s named after Mr. Kent Hull,” Senior said. “Mr. Hull was a legend here at Mississippi State and those who play here know of his legacy and what this award means. I will try my best to live up to the values that he stood for.
“I would like to thank all my coaches, especially Coach (Dan) Mullen and Coach (John) Hevesy as well as the Hull family for this tremendous honor.”
Senior has been a three-year starter on the Bulldogs’ offensive line, and he’s a catalyst for one of the winningest senior classes in MSU history. Senior has played in 47 career games with a team-best 37 starts – 36 at right tackle and one at left tackle.
“Justin has epitomized what Mississippi State football is about through his hard work and dedication,” MSU co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach John Hevesy said. “He’s been with us for five years and developed both on and off the field. He’s already earned his degree, and he’s been a leader on our offensive line at right tackle for us since 2014.”
In 2016, Senior has started all 11 games at left tackle, seeing action on 877 snaps with 27 knockdowns. He’s anchored a Bulldog line that has allowed the third-fewest sacks in the Southeastern Conference, while paving the way for an MSU rushing attack that averages 212.8 yards per game.
In a 35-28 win over No. 4 Texas A&M on Nov. 5, the Bulldogs rushed for 365 yards, representing their highest total in an SEC game since 1994. In addition, Senior and the offensive line did not allow a sack while facing one of the top defensive lines in the nation.
Off the field, Senior has been just as successful, earning his undergraduate degree in sociology in the summer of 2015. He’s currently pursuing a second degree in political science. The Montreal, Quebec, native is a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and is one of only two Canadians currently playing SEC football.
“Justin had a unique journey to Mississippi State from Canada, and we are proud of what he has accomplished both on and off the field in his five years,” MSU head coach Dan Mullen said. “His leadership on our offensive line has been invaluable. He’s going to be successful in whatever path he chooses after football.”
Senior is MSU’s second winner of the Kent Hull Trophy, joining inaugural recipient Gabe Jackson, who claimed the honor in 2013 before going on to a successful career with the Oakland Raiders. Laremy Tunsil of Ole Miss won in 2014 and Fahn Cooper of Ole Miss won in 2015. Jackson (Oakland Raiders), Tunsil (Miami Dolphins) and Cooper (San Francisco 49ers) are all in the NFL.
Senior will be formally presented with the Kent Hull Trophy at the C Spire Conerly Trophy banquet on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at Clarksdale Country Club.
Rick Cleveland: Kent Hull was solid as a rock.