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Fans Get to Help Decide Who Will be the Next C Spire Conerly Trophy Winner Honoring Mississippi’s Top College Football Player of the Year

For third 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 24, 2015) – With three of Mississippi’s top college football teams already recording their best won-loss record at this time of the season since 1999, fan interest is at an all-time high for the C Spire Conerly Trophy, which annually honors the top 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 third time in the award’s 20-year history, fan voting will count for 10 percent of the 2015 Conerly Trophy and a panel of statewide sports media will make up the remaining 90 percent.

“We want fans to take part in identifying Mississippi’s best college football player, especially with so many teams having outstanding seasons,” said Rick Cleveland, 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 Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott, Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, Southern Miss quarterback Nick Mullens, Mississippi Valley State safety Marquis Green, Mississippi College wide receiver Marcel Newson, Alcorn State running back Darryan Ragsdale, Millsaps College linebacker Hector Sandoval, Belhaven University cornerback Isaiah Swopes, Jackson State defensive end Javancy Jones and Delta State wide receiver Jarvis York.

Fan voting begins today (Nov. 24) at 1 p.m. CST and concludes on Monday, Nov. 30 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.

Among past C Spire Conerly Trophy winners are such prominent former and active NFL standouts as Deuce McAllister, Eli Manning, Jerious Norwood, Michael Boley, Patrick Willis, Anthony Dixon and many others. Last year, McAllister, the leading rusher and touchdown scorer in Ole Miss and New Orleans Saints history, was the first C Spire Conerly winner to enter the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

"Football fans across Mississippi are very passionate about their schools and the star players in their respective programs, especially with the success of so many teams this year. 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 will be held Dec. 1 at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. A 5:30 p.m. reception will be followed by the 6:30 p.m. dinner program. Coaches and finalists from all the schools are expected to attend. Tickets are $100 each. For availability, call 601.982.8264.

Now in its 20th 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.