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Mississippi's Top College Football Player to Be Named From Among 10 Nominees for the 2012 Conerly Trophy Presented by C Spire Wireless


Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks, Ole Miss’ Bo Wallace and Southern Miss’ Jamie Collins Top List Of Talented Players Competing for the Top College Gridiron Honor in Magnolia State

Jackson, Miss. (November 12, 2012) – Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace, Mississippi State cornerback Johnthan Banks and Southern Miss defensive end Jamie Collins lead a list of 10 nominees for the 17th annual Conerly Trophy, which honors Mississippi’s top college football player in 2012.

Banks, a preseason All-American and a finalist last year for the Conerly, also is in the running for several national awards and ranks first among active NCAA players in career interception yardage. Wallace has thrown for 12 touchdowns and run for six for a rejuvenated Ole Miss team. The junior has completed 65.6 percent of his passes on the year and threw for a career-high 404 years against Vanderbilt. Collins leads USM with 80 tackles, 18 for loss, nine sacks totaling 77 yards in losses and four forced fumbles. He leads Conference USA in sacks and tackles for losses.

Other nominees, as selected by the athletic departments of each of the four year college football programs, include:

  • Alcorn State offensive lineman Cornelius Brown, an anchor on the team’s offensive line.
  • Belhaven senior cornerback and kick returner Isiah Wiley, a Southern Cal transfer, who led the nation (NAIA) in punt returns with 19.4 yards per return. He was fifth in kickoff returns with 28.6, returned two punts for touchdowns and also intercepted two passes.
  • Delta State offensive tackle Kendall Hunter, who made 38 consecutive starts at right tackle and had a career offensive line grade of 89 percent. Hunter allowed only one sack this season and led DSU in knockdown blocks with 129
  • Jackson State wide receiver Rico Richardson, who became the fifth received in Jackson State history to surpass 1,000 yards receiving in a season. Heading into the season finale, Richardson has 1,027 yards and nine touchdowns on 52 catches.
  • Millsaps senior quarterback Garrett Pinciotti, who led the team to a 7-3 record, threw for 24 touchdowns , only four interceptions and led the conference in passing yards per game with 273.
  • Mississippi College defensive back Keith Villafranco who led NCAA Division III with six forced fumbles. He was also in on 76 tackles, nine for losses, intercepted five passes, broke up 11 others and recovered a fumble.
  • Mississippi Valley State defensive tackle Robert Simpson who leads the NCAA FCS division with 20.5 tackles for loss. He has 53 tackles and 5.5 sacks on the season.

The trophy and the outstanding player program, which is presented annually by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum and C Spire Wireless, will be awarded during a special 6:30 p.m. banquet program on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at the museum in Jackson. A special reception will precede the dinner program at 5:30 p.m. All of the finalists and their coaches are expected to attend and will be available for interviews.

Now in its 17th year, the C Spire Conerly Trophy 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, an NFL All-Pro and quarterback for a world championship team. C Spire Wireless has served as the title sponsor for the Conerly Trophy since 1998.

Tickets are $25 and $100. For ticket information and more program details, contact the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum at 1.800.280.FAME (3263) or at 601.982.8264.

About C Spire Wireless
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