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Conerly Trophy finalists announced

Photo courtesy of C-Spire

JACKSON, MS –The 2016 C Spire Conerly Trophy, presented annually to the most outstanding college football player in Mississippi, will be awarded next week to one of the 10 finalists.

The nominees represent each of the ten football-playing universities and colleges in the state and have been chosen by their athletic departments.  The winner of the annual C Spire Conerly Trophy is selected by a statewide media panel vote with a fan vote conducted by C Spire accounting for 10% of the overall vote.

To vote for your favorite player via social media or text message, visit beginning at 8:30 am on November 22 until noon on Sunday, November 27. 

The 2016 C Spire Conerly Trophy nominees (listed alphabetically by school):

Alcorn State University – Senior Linebacker Darien Anderson led the Braves in tackles, solo tackles, and assisted tackles.  First in SWAC with 10 sacks for the season, Anderson is on the Buck Buchanan Watch list for best FCS Defensive Player of the Year.

Belhaven University – Freshman QB Hunter McEachern was elected a team captain in his first year in the program.  He set school season records for pass attempts (574) completions (337) and touchdowns (31).  His 3,722 passing yards were second in school history.

Delta State University – Junior Running Back Chris Robinson led the nation in touchdowns scored in NCAA Division II with 24.  He totaled 19 rushing touchdowns and added 5 more receiving scores.  He picked up 976 yards rushing and caught 37 passes for 551 additional yards.

Jackson State University – Senior Defensive End/Linebacker Javancy Jones is nominated for the second consecutive year.  He led the Tigers in tackles, solo tackles and assisted tackles.  The versatile Senior also played at TE and caught two passes including one touchdown.

Millsaps College – Senior Defensive Lineman Alex Foust from Ackerman, MS led the Majors with 42 tackles including 15.5 for a loss.  He also recorded 9.5 sacks which placed him second in the conference.

Mississippi College – Senior Wide Receiver/Kick Returner Marcel Newson represents the Choctaws for the second consecutive year.  Newson led the Gulf South Conference and ranked fifth nationally in all-purpose yards per game with 180.6.  He led the conference in receiving yards per game (94.8) and was among the leaders in both kickoff and punt returns.

Mississippi State University – Senior Wide Receiver Fred Ross leads the Bulldogs this season in catches (67), receiving yardage (835) and receiving touchdowns (11).  The 11 TD grabs are tops in the SEC. He averages 12.5 yards per catch.

Mississippi Valley State University – Junior Quarterback Austin Bray is the C Spire Conerly Trophy nominee for the Delta Devils.  Bray passed for eight touchdowns while completing 129 of 239 attempts for 1462 yards.  He also ran for four scores.

University of Mississippi – Senior Tight End Evan Engram leads the nation in yards per game for tight ends with 84.2 and also tops all SEC receivers with that number.  The Ole Miss Rebel is a finalist for this year’s John Mackey Award.

University of Southern Mississippi – Junior Running Back Ito Smith has rushed for 1,195 yards and 15 touchdowns.  He averages 5.6 yards per carry.  He also has 38 receptions and one touchdown catch.  He has scored at least one touchdown in every Golden Eagles game this season.

This year the C Spire Conerly Trophy will be presented at the Clarksdale Country Club in Clarksdale, MS on Tuesday, November 29.  A reception begins at 5:30 pm with the program beginning at 6:30.  Tickets are available online at or at the Hall of Fame offices. For a list of previous C Spire Conerly winners, visit

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