KJ Wright Named 2022 SEC Football Legend

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Brandon Langlois, Senior Associate Director of Athletics

STARKVILLE – KJ Wright, an all-time great from Mississippi State and an 11-year NFL veteran, has been selected as the Bulldogs’ 2022 SEC Football Legend, the league office announced Thursday as part of the entire class.

The class will be honored at the SEC football “Champions Weekend” of 2022 on December 2-3 in Atlanta, highlighted by the annual SEC Legends Celebration on Friday, December 2 at the Hall of college football fame. The group will also be recognized before the SEC Football Championship Game, which will take place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday, December 3.

The 2022 Class of Soccer Legends includes 14 former stars who excelled on the field and helped write the sport’s rich history at their respective institutions.

Wright served four years at linebacker for State from 2007 to 2010 and was the Bulldogs’ second-best tackler for three seasons and started 35 of 47 career games. He finished his career with 259 tackles (131 solo), including nine sacks, 23.5 stops for losses and 11 quarterback pressures. He forced and recovered three fumbles and had 14 passes defensed.

He was named to the 2008 SEC Academic Honor Roll and in 2011 earned his MSU degree in criminology.

A 2011 Senior Bowl participant, Seattle selected Wright in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft and he went on to play 11 seasons in the NFL, including 10 for the Seahawks. He helped Seattle win Super Bowl XLVIII and earned a Pro Bowl nomination in 2016.

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Wright was nominated for the 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award after traveling to Kenya and helping raise money to build freshwater wells. He has also been active in the Seattle community, supporting numerous causes throughout his career. In 2020, he won the Seahawks’ prestigious Steve Largent Award for best exemplifying the spirit, dedication and integrity of the former Seattle wide receiver.

The 33-year-old linebacker concluded his professional career with 992 tackles, 13.5 sacks, 11 forced fumbles, nine recoveries and six interceptions in 161 regular-season games. He spent last season with the Las Vegas Raiders, where he appeared in 17 games, made eight starts and totaled 51 tackles.

Below is a list of the 2022 SEC football legends:

ALABAMA – Ozzie Newsome, split finale, 1974-77
ARKANSAS – Steve Korte, offensive guard, 1981-82
AUBURN – Ben Tamburello, guard/center, 1983-86
FLORIDA – Alex Brown, defensive end, 1998-2001
GEORGIA – Thomas Davis, linebacker, 2002-04
KENTUCKY – Joe Federspiel, linebacker, 1969-71
LSU – Todd McClure, Center, 1995-98
MISSISSIPPI STATE – KJ Wright, linebacker, 2007-10

OLE MISS – Eli Manning, quarterback, 1999-2003
MISSOURI – Gary Pinkel, head coach, 2001-15
SOUTH CAROLINA – Alshon Jeffery, wide receiver, 2009-11
TENNESSEE: Peyton Manning, quarterback, 1994-1997
TEXAS A&M – Johnny Manziel, quarterback, 2012-13
VANDERBILT – Allama Matthews, tight end, 1979-82

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