HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum announced 10 nominees for the 2017 C Spire Conerly Trophy Monday.
The annual award honors Mississippi's top college football player, with each four-year college with a football program submitting a nominee. The award is named in honor of College Football Hall of Famer Charlie Conerly, who played for the University of Mississippi and the New York Giants in the NFL.
The University of Southern Mississippi nominated senior running back Ito Smith, who recently became only the 10th player in NCAA FBS history to accumulate 4,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in a career.
A winner will be selected by a panel of sports media and announced on Nov. 28. A six-day online fan vote will be conducted by C Spire.
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.
Fans can cast votes at www.csopavoting.com. Voting ends Nov. 26 at 5 p.m.
The 22nd presentation of the trophy will take place at a ceremony on Nov. 28 at the Hilton-Jackson located at 1001 County Line Road in Jackson. A reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. with the program and dinner following at 6:30. The guest speaker will be Archie Manning.
Advance tickets for the evening are required and they are available at the Hall of Fame office or by phoning 601-982-8264.