Mississippi State Bulldogs: 50 Greatest Athletes in School History

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Nov 14, 2015; Starkville, MS, USA; A general view of Davis Wade Stadium during a game between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide game. The Crimson Tide defeated the Bulldogs 31-6. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

#7 Johnie Cooks, Football Linebacker (1978-1981)

Johnie Cooks is one of the most special athletes to ever put on a Mississippi State uniform. The fact that his teams excelled so much gave him the nod as the top linebacker. He played from 1977-81 where he amassed 392 tackles – good for 5th all time. He was a monster in maroon, especially during his junior and senior seasons when the Bulldogs managed back-to-back bowl games and a 17-7 combined record. He was there to anchor the 1980 defense when State beat #1 Alabama. Cooks stands as the highest any MSU player has ever been drafted into the NFL when he was selected as the 2nd overall pick in 1982 by the Baltimore Colts. He had a successful pro career, playing 10 seasons and winning a Super Bowl with the New York Giants.

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