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Fans Get to Help Decide Who Will Be the Next C Spire Conerly Trophy Winner

For fourth year in a row, fans will influence 10 percent of the award total; sparking renewed excitement, interest and engagement with their favorite players and schools

Jackson, Miss. - (November 22, 2016) – With the college football season winding down in Mississippi, interest remains high in the 2016 C Spire Conerly Trophy as fans wait anxiously to see who will win the coveted award, which annually honors the top college football player in the Magnolia state.

While Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Southern Miss and seven other teams will determine their ultimate fate on the gridiron as the season winds down, college football fans will help influence who gets the best player honors. For the fourth time in the award’s 21-year history, fan voting will count for 10 percent of the Conerly Trophy and a panel of statewide sports media will decide the remaining 90 percent.

“We want fans to take part in identifying Mississippi’s best college football player,” said Bill Blackwell, executive director of the MSHOF and co-sponsor of the award along with C Spire. “Major League baseball and other sports have used fan voting for years. We think involving fans will help sustain interest in an award that’s an integral part of the college football scene.”

The 10 Conerly Trophy finalists are Alcorn State linebacker Darien Anderson, Mississippi Valley State quarterback Austin Bray, Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram, Jackson State defensive end Javancy Jones, Millsaps defensive lineman Alex Foust, Belhaven quarterback Hunter McEachern, Mississippi College wide receiver Marcel Newson, Delta State running back Chris Robinson. Mississippi State wide receiver Fred Ross and Southern Miss running back Ito Smith.

Fan voting begins today at 8:30 a.m. CST and concludes on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 12 noon CST. Just as the media voters do, fans will vote for a first place, second place and third place winner. Fans will be able to vote by Facebook, Twitter and via text messaging. Fans may submit up to three votes per day during the voting period; however, only one entry is allowed per day for each of the social media methods. To register and vote, go to www.csopavoting.com.

Among past C Spire Conerly Trophy winners are such prominent former and active NFL standouts as two-time winners Dak Prescott and Eli Manning, Deuce McAllister, Jerious Norwood, Michael Boley, Patrick Willis, Anthony Dixon and many others.

"Football fans across Mississippi are very passionate about their schools and the star players in their respective programs. We are excited to give fans the ability once again to help influence who wins the C Spire Conerly Trophy,” said Jim Richmond, vice president of Corporate Communications for C Spire.

The C Spire Conerly Trophy banquet is nearing a sellout, but still has limited seating for the Nov. 29 program at the Clarksdale Country Club in Clarksdale, Mississippi. A 5:30 p.m. reception will be followed by the 6:30 p.m. dinner program and trophy presentation. Coaches and finalists from all the schools are expected to attend. Tickets are $100 each. For availability or more information, go to msfame.com or call 601.982.8264.

Now in its 21th year, the Conerly Trophy presented by C Spire is named after the late Charlie Conerly – the only football inductee in the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame who was an All-American at a Mississippi university, an NFL rookie of the year and NFL All-Pro member and quarterbacked a team to a world championship. C Spire has sponsored the outstanding player awards program for all major college sports in Mississippi since 1998.

About C Spire
C Spire is a diversified telecommunications and technology services company that provides world-class customer-inspired service and a superior comprehensive suite of customer-inspired wireless communications, high-speed Internet access and a range of other telecommunications products and services to consumers and businesses. This news release and other announcements are available at www.cspire.com/news. For more information about C Spire, visit www.cspire.com or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cspire or Twitter at www.twitter.com/cspire.