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Ole Miss’ Star Wide Receiver A. J. Brown Wins Fan Voting Segment of 2017 C Spire Conerly Trophy Honoring Mississippi’s Top College Football Player

For fifth straight year, fans influence 10 percent of the award total; sparking renewed excitement, interest and engagement with their favorite players and schools

Jackson, Miss. - (November 26, 2017) – Ole Miss’ recording-setting wide receiver A.J. Brown was the top vote getter and winner of the fan voting segment of the 2017 C Spire Conerly Trophy, which annually honors the top college football player in Mississippi, it was announced Sunday.

Brown, a sophomore from Starkville, received 3,479 votes from fans, which counts for 10 percent of the award. Mississippi State junior quarterback Nick Fitzgerald finished second with 3,207 votes and Alcorn State running back De’Lance Turner was third with 1,822 votes. A panel of statewide sports media representatives decide the remaining 90 percent of the award.

Over 10,300 votes were cast for the 10 finalists from Magnolia state public colleges and universities via social media and text messaging during the week-long fan voting period sponsored by C Spire and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. This year’s overall winner will be announced at a special banquet Tuesday night at the Hilton Jackson.

Brown, a semifinalist for the 2017 Biletnikoff Award, is the single-season Ole Miss record holder in receiving yards with 1,252. He tied the single-season record for most receiving touchdowns with 11 and became only the second Rebel in school history to record six 100-yard receiving games this season.

The other seven finalists who received fan votes were Southern Miss running back Ito Smith, 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.

The C Spire Conerly Trophy presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 28 at the Hilton Jackson, 1001 County Line Road, in Jackson. 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. For ticket availability or more information, go to msfame.com or call 601.982.8264. Former Ole Miss and New Orleans Saints great Archie Manning will be the special guest speaker at the awards program.

This is the fifth time in the award’s 22-year history that fan voting has been allowed for the prestigious award. “We have some of the most passionate college football fans in the country and this gives them a way to have their voice heard in choosing Mississippi’s best college football player,” said Jim Richmond, vice president of Marketing for C Spire.

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 Evan Engram.

The award 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 since 1998.

About C Spire
C Spire is a leading technology company committed to transforming Mississippi through the C Spire Tech Movement, which includes the massive deployment of broadband internet to homes and small businesses, a state-of-the-art digital experience for its customers and team members, technology innovation leadership and the creation and retention of a 21st century technology workforce in its region. The company provides world-class, customer-inspired wireless communications, 1 Gigabit consumer Internet access as well as a full suite of dedicated Internet, wireless, IP Voice, data and cloud services for 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.