Press Release from Mississippi State Athletics
Mississippi State senior offensive lineman Martinas Rankin is the 2017 recipient of the Kent Hull Trophy, which is 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 that displays the traits that enabled the former Mississippi State legend and trophy namesake to play in three Pro Bowls, four Super Bowls and become one of the most respected linemen and leaders in the National Football League.
“If there is a young man that exemplifies what Kent Hull was known for both on the field and off the field, Martinas is all that and more,” MSU co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach John Hevesy said. “Since the day he arrived in Starkville, he has developed into an outstanding player and a better teammate. Martinas has as bright of a future as anyone I have been around whether it be at the next level on the field or in the business world.”
Rankin made an immediate impact on the field in 2016, proving to be the most dominant member of MSU’s offensive line. A team captain for the 2017 season, Rankin has appeared in 21 games over the course of his collegiate career with 17 starts. Rankin is an NFL prospect and was selected to compete in the 2018 Senior Bowl earlier this month.
He is a part of an MSU offensive line that has allowed just eight sacks this season, which is the fewest by any Power 5 team this year and the fourth-fewest in the FBS. The eight sacks are also the fewest by an MSU team in single-season history.
His dominance on the line has allowed MSU to rush for 2,701 yards this season, which ranks third in the conference. The Bulldogs average 245.6 rushing yards per game, which is 17th nationally, third in the conference and the best rushing yardage per game at MSU since the school record of 280.5 set in 1980.
Off the field, Rankin is just as successful, working towards a degree in kinesiology with a focus in clinical physiology and currently holds a 3.31 GPA. This past spring, he was named to the Mississippi State Dean’s List for the first time as a Bulldog. He is a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
The Mendenhall, Miss., native is MSU’s third 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, and 2016 recipient Justin Senior. State has won the trophy three out of its five years all under Hevesy’s tutelage.
Rankin will be formally presented with the Kent Hull Trophy at the C Spire Conerly Trophy banquet on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at the Hilton-Jackson. Junior quarterback Nick Fitzgerald is MSU’s candidate for the Conerly Trophy.
The C Spire Conerly Trophy, presented annually to the most outstanding college football player in Mississippi, is selected by a statewide media panel vote with a fan vote conducted by C Spire accounting for 10 percent of the overall vote. Fans can vote for Ross by visiting www.csopavoting.com between now and noon on Sunday, Nov. 27.