October 4, 2012

The boom is back for the Bulldogs

When Nickoe Whitley went down with a ruptured Achilles in the first quarter against Alabama last year Mississippi State's secondary was never the same.

Sure the Bulldogs closed out with wins in their final two games but missing was that big hit threat that fans have grown to love over the previous two years.

Now back healthy, Whitley is once again terrorizing opposing offenses with thunderous blows and well timed interceptions. The proof can be found in the junior's last performance against South Alabama where he finished second on the team with seven tackles and returned an interception 66-yards just before halftime.

"It was a good game," Whitley said. "It felt good to get an interception again since I haven't had one in a long time. I thought it was going to take it back but I think I ran out of gas a little bit at the end."

Of his 110 career tackles, several have made highlight reels for their violent nature and others have drawn penalty flags and even suspensions by the Southeastern Conference.

But the negative results of his big hits have not changed Whitley's mentality on the field.

"I just go and hope they don't throw a flag," Whitley said.

There are several memorable licks thrown by Whitley during his two-plus years in maroon and white. The blow against Georgia as a freshman that jarred both the ball and the defenders helmet off on a punt return, the no helmet tackle and forced fumble against Kentucky last year as well as the shot on Auburn's Emory Blake that even knocked Whitley out are just a few examples and live on via YouTube.

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