Mississippi State has an unexpected hole in its special teams to fill in 2017.
Kicker Westin Graves announced his retirement from football Thursday in a letter to Mississippi State fans on Twitter. Graves had surgery on a herniated disk in his lower back this offseason but was informed by doctors that continuing to play would likely re-aggravate the injury. Graves began experiencing discomfort in his lower back last July but decided not to publicly disclose the injury and play through it.
— Westin Graves (@westin_graves) January 19, 2017
This season, Graves hit 11-of-19 field-goal attempts and 48-of-49 extra-point tries. In his three years at Mississippi State, Graves was 26-for-38 on field goals and hit 104-of-108 extra points.
The Bulldogs do not have a place kicker committed in their recruiting class of 2017, meaning they’ll have just a few weeks to try to lock one down before National Signing Day, if they choose to go that route. Other kickers on the roster this season included freshmen John Scifers, Jace Christmann and Brad Wall.