Press Release from the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame
Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald and Ole Miss wide receiver A.J. Brown head the list of 10 finalists announced today for the 2017 C Spire Conerly Trophy, which annually honors the state’s top college football player.
Each of the four year colleges in the state that play football select nominees for the highly-coveted award, which is named after College Football Hall of Famer Charlie Conerly, who starred for Ole Miss and the New York Giants in the NFL.
A panel of sports media select the winner after a six-day online fan vote conducted by C Spire. Fan voting begins on Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 8:30 a.m. and continues through Sunday, Nov. 26 at 5 p.m. at www.csopavoting.com. Fans can vote daily through Facebook, Twitter or text message.
Here are the nominees for each school.
Alcorn State University – Running Back De’Lance Turner. The senior totaled 1262 yards rushing averaging 7.6 yards per carry. Ran for 8 touchdowns and caught 3 more.
Belhaven University – Quarterback Hunter McEachern. He played in 8 games as a sophomore completing 62.2% of his passes for 2769 yards and 27 touchdowns.
Delta State University –Running Back Chris Robinson. The senior had 7 games over 100 yards rushing. Robinson scored 17 rushing touchdowns and score two more receiving.
Jackson State University – Linebacker Shawn Bishop. The senior made 68 tackles on the year with 25 solo tackles. He had 8.5 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks along with one fumble recovery.
Millsaps College – Linebacker Jacob Kendall. The 6’1” senior made 16 solo tackles and assisted on 16 more. He had 7.5 tackles for a loss and 5 sacks.
Mississippi College – Defensive Back Chris Manning. In ten games Manning made 58 tackles including 34 solo tackles. Manning led the Choctaws with 3 interceptions.
Mississippi State University – Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. Nick has scored 29 touchdowns this year. 14 rushing scores and 15 passing touchdowns. The junior rushed for 1025 yards.
Mississippi Valley State University – Defensive Back Mark Pegues. The Oxford, MS senior made 41 tackles in nine games played. He had two interceptions for 101 yards returning.
University of Mississippi – Wide Receiver A.J. Brown. A sophomore from Starkville, Brown made 69 catches for 1085 yards. He averaged 15.7 yards per catch and scored 10 TD.
University of Southern Mississippi – Running Back Ito Smith. Smith averaged 106 yards per game in 2017 gaining 1226 yards rushing. He totaled 12 rushing TD’s and 2 receiving.
This will be the 22nd presentation of the C Spire Conerly Trophy. Ole Miss’s Evan Engram was the winner in 2016. Only two men have won multiple trophies, Eli Manning of Ole Miss in 2001 and 2003, and Dak Prescott of Mississippi State in 2014 and 2015.
The presentation will be held on Tuesday, November 28th at the Hilton-Jackson located at 1001 County Line Road in Jackson. The evening starts with a reception at 5:30 and the dinner and program at 6:30. Advance tickets for the evening are required and they are available at the Hall of Fame office or by phoning 601-982-8264. Archie Manning will be the special guest speaker that evening.