Mississippi Scoreboard highlights a Mississippian or someone with Mississippi ties who plays or coaches SEC football at Ole Miss, another at Mississippi State and another at an out-of-state SEC school each week.
By Robert Wilson
LAUREL HIGH ALUMNUS AND MISSISSIPPI STATE OFFENSIVE LINEMAN CHARLES CROSS NAMED ESPN ALL-AMERICAN
Laurel High and Mississippi State offensive lineman Charles Cross was one of 26 players named to the ESPN All-American team this week.
The 6-foot-5, 310-pound redshirt sophomore was one of two offensive tackles on the ESPN All-American team. Cross played left tackle for the Bulldogs and allowed only five pressures and one sack in 682 pass blocks. ESPN NFL draft expert Tim McShay projects Cross as the No. 9 prespect overall and No. 2 offensive tackle available for the draft. Cross received an 86.7 overall blocking grade by Pro Football Focus, the second highest grade in the SEC by an offensive tackle. With Cross protecting MSU quarterback Will Rogers’ blind side, he was able to pass for 4,449 yards, tied for second highest in the country.
This is the third award Cross has received this week. He was named first team All-SEC by both the Associated Press and the league coaches. Cross also won the Kent Hull Trophy, presented to the best collegiate lineman in Mississippi.
Cross has appeared in 25 career games and made 22 starts. He was named Freshman All-SEC by the league’s coaches last year and has been selected SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week twice this season.
Cross was rated the No. 1 recruit in Mississippi by 247 Sports and Rivals and ranked No. 8 nationally as offensive lineman as a senior at Laurel High. He played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and in the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Game.
HERITAGE ACADEMY ALUMNUS AND OLE MISS OFFENSIVE LINEMAN ELI ACKER SELECTED TO THE FRESHMAN ALL-SEC TEAM
Heritage Academy alumnus and Ole Miss offensive lineman Eli Aker was selected to the Freshman All-SEC Team Thursday.
The 6-foot-5, 300-pound Acker, a redshirt freshman, had three starts at right guard and played in eight games. In his first career start, Acker played all 94 offensive snaps at right guard against Texas A&M. He helped Ole Miss to 257 rushing yards, the most allowed by Texas. Acker helped an offensive front that led the way for Ole Miss to rank fourth in total offense, seventh in first downs and ninth in rushing offense in the country.
Acker was ranked as the No. 8 best player in Mississippi and No. 34 best offensive tackle in the country by 247 Sports as a senior at Heritage. He was the 2019 MAIS Class 5A Player of the Year and was a first team MaxPreps Small Schools All-America selection.
PROVINE HIGH AND JACKSON ACADEMY ALUMNUS AND LSU WIDE RECEIVER DEION SMITH ENTERS THE TRANSFER PORTAL
Provine High and Jackson Academy alumnus and LSU freshman wide receiver Deion Smith entered the transfer portal this week. He will have three years of eligibility remaining.
The 6-foot-3, 198-pound Smith caught 11 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns in five games before suffering a foot/ankle injury that has sidelined him the rest of the season. Smith was injured against Kentucky.
Smith made his first collegiate start for LSU and caught five passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns, both in the first quarter, in a 49-21 victory over Central Michigan. He did not play in the season opener against UCLA but made his collegiate debut and caught two passes for 13 yards against McNeese State.
An Under Armour All-American, Smith was the No. 1 player in Mississippi and the No. 7 wide receiver in the nation by 247 Sports as a senior at Jackson Academy. He caught 36 passes for 640 yards and seven TDs, ran for 189 yards and two TDs and had 159 kickoff return yards in eight games before injuring his foot and having surgery last season. He helped JA to a 10-4 record and the MAIS Class 6A state championship game. He caught 43 passes for 1,509 yards and 19 TDs and averaged 31.2 yards on punt returns and 37.9 yards on kickoff returns as a junior at Provine. He transferred to JA as a senior because Jackson Public Schools did not play fall sports due to covid.