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Mississippi State LB Willie Gay Jr. entering NFL draft

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State linebacker Willie Gay Jr. says he's bypassing his senior season to enter the NFL draft.

Gay announced his decision Monday on Twitter. Gay, who grew up in Starksville, Mississippi, said that "this city and university will always hold a special place in my heart as the only home I've ever known."

Gay recorded 48 tackles, five sacks and two interceptions in 2018. He played only five games this season and had 28 tackles, 3 ½ tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and one interception.

He was one of 10 Mississippi State players withheld from eight games this season because of NCAA violations involving an academic tutor.