Press Release from Mississippi State Athletics
A first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection and the league leader in sacks and tackles for loss in 2017, Montez Sweat has unfinished business in Starkville as the defensive end announced Saturday morning that he will return to Mississippi State for his senior season in 2018.
Sweat announced his decision via his social media account and @HailStateFB:
“In just one year, I’ve seen that Starkville and Mississippi State are extremely special to me and so many people. It’s been a blessing in so many ways and while we accomplished a lot in 2017, I know 2018 can be something special. With that being said, I am excited to announce I am returning to Mississippi State for my senior season in 2018. Can’t wait to get back to work with my brothers! Hail State!”
Sweat collected a league-best 10.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss in his debut season. The 10.5 sacks ranked seventh in MSU single-season annals as he became the first Bulldog to lead the league in sacks since Willie Evans in 2005. That total also tied for eighth nationally this season. His tackle for loss total was tied for fifth in Bulldog single-season history.
Sweat, a three-time SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week recipient, recorded at least one tackle for loss in 10 of MSU’s 13 games. He earned first-team All-SEC honors by the league coaches and the Associated Press, joining fellow teammate Jeffery Simmons.
For the first time in school history, the Bulldogs produced multiple first-team All-SEC defensive linemen in a season and both will return in 2018. It represented just the second time since 2003 (Alabama, 2015) that an SEC West school earned multiple first-team All-SEC defensive linemen as selected by the league’s coaches.
Sweat, a Stone Mountain, Ga., native, ranked sixth overall on the squad in tackles in 2017 with 46. He helped forge a Bulldog defense that ranked 10th nationally in total defense, issuing only 306.3 yards per game. It was the best total defensive mark at MSU since 1999.
Sweat racked up three tackles for loss and one sack of 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson in the TaxSlayer Bowl as he helped the Bulldogs reach nine victories for the ninth time in program history and the third time in four seasons.