Derek Pegues honored

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 27, 2007

Derek Pegues of Batesville will be a junior on the Mississippi State University bulldog team this year as a cornerback. The Panolian photo by Andy Young

Pegues garners pre-season honors

By Myra Bean

Mississippi State University was represented in one of the first preseason award watch lists, as junior cornerback Derek Pegues was included on the 2007 Jim Thorpe Award watch list, as released by the Jim Thorpe Association today.

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Pegues was also selected to the coaches’ pre-season all-SEC first team in the secondary.

Pegues, a second-team all-SEC defensive back and kick returner last year, finished eighth in the conference in interceptions in 2006 with four picks, and second and fifth, respectively, in the league in punt and kickoff returns. His punt return yardage total was the fifth highest single-season mark in school history.

Pegues is a former South Panola Tiger who led the team to its first two back-to-back state championships in 2003 and 2004. He played in the 2005 U.S. Army All-American Football game.

The Jim Thorpe Award “watch list” is determined by analysis of the pre-season All-American teams listed in at least six pre-season college football annual magazines. Four points are awarded for First Team, three points for second team, two points for third and one point for fourth teams and honorable mentions. This procedure determines approximately 40 players on the pre-season watch list.  This list is not final and players whose performances merit recognition may be added as the season progresses.

A “Screening Committee” of Jim Thorpe Association members follows the players throughout the season, watching games and researching information sources to grade Thorpe Award candidates on the basis of performance on the field, athletic ability and character.  

After cutting the list to three individuals, the names of the finalists are submitted to a national panel of about 50 sports writers, sportscasters, coaches and former players who vote to determine the winner.

The Bulldogs open their season on August 30 with a home televised game against LSU.,