Named after Ole Miss great Charlie Conerly, the C Spire Conerly Trophy is given out each year to the most outstanding college football player in the state of Mississippi. This year, the honor was bestowed upon Ole Miss wide receiver A.J. Brown.
The Rebels wrapped up their 2017 season with a 31-28 victory in the Egg Bowl, a game in which Brown played a major role for the Rebel offense; just as he did all season long. Brown finished the game with 167 yards and a TD. In the process, Brown moved past Laquon Treadwell to become Ole Miss’ all-time single-season record holder with 1,252 receiving yards.
The Starkville native finished the season leading the SEC in touchdown catches with 11, which is tied for the Ole Miss single-season record. Brown’s 75 catches on the season is the third most in a single season in Ole Miss history.
The Conerly Trophy is in its 22nd year, and Brown is the seventh Ole Miss Rebel to receive the award. He follows fellow Rebel Evan Engram who was the award’s 2016 recipient. This is the first time that Rebel teammates have won the award in back-to-back seasons.
The other nine finalists for the award were Alcorn State RB De’Lance Turner (Senior), Belhaven QB Hunter McEachern (Sophmore), Delta State RB Chris Robinson (Senior), Jackson State LB Shawn Bishop (Senior), Millsaps LB Jacob Kendall (Senior), Mississippi College DB Chris Manning (Senior), Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald (Junior), Mississippi Valley State DB Mark Pegues (Senior) and Southern Miss RB Ito Smith (Senior).
The award is decided by a panel of sports writers, and a fan vote which accounts for 10% of the final tally. It was announced on Tuesday that Brown won the fan vote.
The six Rebels to receive the award before Brown are Stewart Patridge, Patrick Willis, Eli Manning (2x), Deuce McAlister, and Bo Wallace, and Evan Engram.
Brown was also named a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist earlier this season.