JACKSON, Miss., Nov. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Ole Miss wide receiver A.J. Brown, one of the nation’s top receivers this season, won the C Spire Conerly Trophy Tuesday night as the Magnolia state’s top college football player in 2017. Brown, a sophomore from Starkville, Mississippi, led the SEC and the Rebels in receiving this year with 1,252 yards. He edged out three other finalists for the award, including Mississippi State dual-threat quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, Southern Miss running back Ito Smith and Alcorn State running back De’Lance Turner.
Ole Miss record-setting wide receiver A.J. Brown won the 2017 C Spire Conerly Trophy Monday night as the best college football player in the state of Mississippi. – photo courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics
The trophy was presented during a sold out Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame awards banquet in Jackson, Mississippi, which also featured special remarks from former Ole Miss and New Orleans Saints great Archie Manning. The award is named after Charlie Conerly, a Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer, college All-American, an NFL rookie of the year and NFL All-Pro who quarterbacked the New York Giants to a world championship.
The other six award nominees from Mississippi’s 10 public universities and colleges were Mississippi Valley State defensive back Mark Pegues, Mississippi College defensive back Chris Manning, Millsaps College linebacker Jacob Kendall, Belhaven University quarterback Hunter McEachern, Jackson State linebacker Shawn Bishop and Delta State running back Chris Robinson.
Mississippi State senior offensive lineman Martinas Rankin received the 5th annual Kent Hull Trophy as Mississippi’s top college offensive lineman in 2017. The award is named for the late Kent Hull, a Mississippi State and Buffalo Bills pro football standout.
Brown also won the fan voting segment with over 3,479 votes, which counted for 10 percent of the award. Fitzgerald finished second with 3,207 votes and Turner was third with 1,822 votes. College football fans cast over 10,300 votes via social media and text messaging for their favorite players during the week-long fan voting competition. A panel of statewide sports media representatives decided the remaining 90 percent of the award.
Previous winners of the C Spire Conerly Trophy include former and current NFL players such as Dak Prescott, Eli Manning, Anthony Dixon, Patrick Willis, Deuce McAllister, Jerious Norwood, Michael Boley and last year’s winner, Evan