Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott Wins C Spire Conerly Trophy as Best College Football Player in Magnolia State During 2014
Bulldogs star 8th quarterback to win state’s top college gridiron player award over three other finalists in voting by fans and a panel of sports news media representatives
Jackson, Miss. - (December 2, 2014) – Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott, a finalist for several national player of the year awards, won the C Spire Conerly Trophy Tuesday night as the Magnolia state’s top college football player in 2014.
Prescott, who produced 328 yards of total offense per game and 37 touchdowns in leading the Bulldogs to a 10-2 record and the first 10-victory season in school history, won over three other finalists, including Ole Miss cornerback Senquez Golson, Delta State quarterback Tyler Sullivan and Alcorn State quarterback John Gibbs, Jr. Laremy Tunsil of Ole Miss received the second annual Kent Hull Trophy as Mississippi's top college offensive lineman in 2014.
All 10 four-year, football-playing universities and colleges were represented at Tuesday night's banquet, attended by a sellout crowd at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. The other six nominees were Belhaven wide receiver Greg Livingston, Mississippi College defensive back Dylan Klibert, Southern Miss defensive end Dasman McCullum, Millsaps defensive end Zach Bell, Jackson State wide receiver Daniel Williams and Mississippi Valley State wide receiver Julian Stafford.
Prescott, a junior from Haughton, La., produced eye-popping statistics as well as a record-setting string of victories over top-10 nationally-ranked teams for the Bulldogs this season. In the past seven years, only two college players have passed for as many as 240 yards per game, while running for at least 75 yards per game. Prescott is one. The other was Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
Prescott has been mentioned prominently on Heisman Trophy candidate lists throughout the season and is expected to be one of the five finalists invited to New York later this month for the award announcement. He also has been named a finalist for the Maxwell Award, which honors the nation's top college football player and the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award. The winner of both those awards will be announced live on ESPN during an awards program in Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 12.
Prescott follows a long list of previous Conerly winners, including Eli Manning, Jerious Norwood, J.J. Johnson, Deuce McAllister, Austin Davis, Michael Boley, Bo Wallace and Josh Bright. Tunsil, a freshman All American at left tackle in 2013, was a preseason and mid-season All American. Gabe Jackson of Mississippi State won the inaugural Hull Trophy last year.
A panel of print, television and radio news media members across the state selected the finalists and the winner from among 10 nominees from each of Mississippi’s football-playing four year colleges. For the seond time, fan voting counted for 10 percent of the overall vote. Prescott led the fan voting, followed by Williams and Sullivan. The Kent Hull Trophy winner was selected by a panel of experts, including former college coaches, players and pro scouts.
Prescott praised the Bulldogs coaching staff and credited his teammates for helping him become one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in college football. “It's such an honor to be named the top college football player in the state,” Prescott said. “But I really have to give credit to my teammates, coaches and athletic department staff. They’ve helped me grow and become a better person and football player. That's what makes this so special."M
C Spire has sponsored the outstanding player award program for all major college sports in Mississippi since 1998. “We’re very pleased with the caliber of players selected as nominees and finalists for the C Spire Conerly Trophy in 2014,” said Jim Richmond, vice president of Corporate Communications for C Spire. “This has been one of the strongest years in the award’s history in terms of individual and overall performance and leadership among all of the schools who submitted nominees for the award. Our winner is not only a great football player, but an outstanding young man with good character, a strong record of community involvement and a terrific work ethic.”
Now in its 19th 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.