Mississippi’s Top College Football Player to be Named From Among 10 Finalists for the 2015 C Spire Conerly Trophy
Ole Miss’ Laquon Treadwell hopes to be first wide receiver to win award; Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott vies to become only second player to win top college gridiron honor in Magnolia State in consecutive years
Fan voting, which influences 10 percent of the award total, starts today via social media and text message
Jackson, Miss. - (November 24, 2015) – Ole Miss wide out Laquon Treadwell, one of 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver, and Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott, a Heisman Trophy candidate, lead a list of 10 nominees for the 2015 C Spire Conerly Trophy, which annually honors the top college football player in the Magnolia State.
Treadwell, the SEC’s active leader in catches, yards and touchdowns, and Prescott, the 2014 Conerly Award winner and a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien and Maxwell Awards, join players from eight other schools vying for the coveted award, which is named after College Football Hall of Famer Charlie Conerly, who also starred for the New York Giants.
The other eight finalists are 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 Unversity cornerback Isaiah Swopes, Jackson State defensive end Javancy Jones and Delta State wide receiver Jarvis York.
For the third time in the award’s 20-year history, fan voting will count for 10 percent of the award and a panel of statewide sports media will make up the remaining 90 percent. Fan voting will begin today at 1 p.m. CST and conclude on Monday, Nov. 30 at 12 noon. 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. For entry rules and qualifications on fan voting, go to www.cspire.com/conerly.
“Football fans across Mississippi are very passionate about their schools and the star players in their respective programs, especially with the success of several 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. This year marked the first time since 1999 that all three of the state’s largest universities – Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Southern Miss – have at least eight wins each.
The 2015 Conerly Trophy finalists include:
- Marquis Green, Mississippi Valley State: Green, a freshman safety from New Orleans, led the SWAC in interceptions with seven, fourth overall in the NCAA’s FCS division. Green also was in on 47 tackles, including 34 solos and one tackle for loss.
- Javancy Jones, Jackson State: Jones, a junior defensive end from Noxubee County, leads the Tigers in tackles with 80, tackles for loss with 19 for 90 yards and in sacks with 5.5. Jones was the SWAC's Freshman of the Year in 2013 and led the Tigers in tackles as a sophomore with 108.
- Nick Mullens, Southern Miss: Mullens, a junior from Hoover, Ala., is rewriting the USM record book for passing statistics in leading the Golden Eagles to an 8-3 record. Mullens has thrown for 3,578 yards and 32 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He has three rushing touchdowns and has thrown for 265 yards or more in all 11 USM games.
- Marcel Newson, Mississippi College: Newson, a junior wide receiver from Coldwater, has caught 40 passes for 656 yards and eight touchdowns, all team highs. Newson has averaged 22 yards per kickoff return and 16 yards per punt return to lead the Choctaws in both categories.
- Dak Prescott, Mississippi State: Prescott, a Haughton, La., native has thrown for 3,159 yards and 23 touchdowns, while throwing only three interceptions. He has run for 478 yards and nine touchdowns in leading State to an 8-3 record. Prescott, the 2014 C Spire Conerly winner, is a finalist for several national awards.
- Darryan Ragsdale, Alcorn: Ragsdale, a senior running back from Brandon, has run for 7.6 yards per carry despite injuries this season. The former Pelahatchie standout has gained 855 yards, scored seven touchdowns and has caught 15 passes for another 127 yards. After transferring from Hinds Community College, Ragsdale has averaged more than eight yards per carry in his two Alcorn seasons.
- Hector Sandoval, Millsaps: Sandoval, a junior linebacker from Kingswood, Texas, leads the Southern Athletic Association in tackles with 105 (50 solo, 55 assists). He also has forced a fumble, intercepted a pass and returned a fumble for a touchdown. He had a season-high 18 tackles in a game against the University of Chicago earlier this year.
- Isaiah Swopes, Belhaven: Swopes, a freshman cornerback from Ocean Springs, wasted no time making his presence felt at the college level. He tied school records and set freshman records with six pass interceptions and 12 passes broken up. He set a school record for 18 passes defended. Swopes also contributed 33 tackles, including 1.5 for losses and forced two fumbles.
- LaQuon Treadwell, Ole Miss: Treadwell, a junior from Crete, Ill., is a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist who ranks 12th all-time among SEC receivers despite missing the final four games of his sophomore season. He is the SEC's active leader in catches, yards and touchdowns. In 2015, he has averaged 6.5 catches and 96.4 yards per game, which leads the SEC in both categories. Treadwell needs seven catches in the 2015 Egg Bowl to become the all-time leading receiver at Ole Miss.
- Jarvis York, Delta State: York, a senior wide receiver from Baton Rouge, Lal, led the Gulf South Conference with 61 pass receptions for 840 yards and four touchdowns. He turned in a career-high effort against West Alabama with 12 catches for 128 yards and finished ninth in Delta State history with 123 receptions, good for 1,588 yards and seven touchdowns.
Past winners of the C Spire Conerly Trophy have included such prominent future NFL standouts as Deuce McAllister, Eli Manning, Jerious Norwood, Michael Boley, Patrick Willis, Anthony Dixon and many others. Prescott is bidding to become only the second two-time C Spire Conerly Trophy winner in the 20 year history of the award, following Manning.
The C Spire Conerly Trophy banquet is nearing a sellout, but still has limited seating for the Dec. 1 program 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 or more information, go to msfame.com or call 601.982.8264.
The third annual Kent Hull Trophy also will be presented to the top college offensive lineman in Mississippi at the event. Mississippi State’s Gabe Jackson and Ole Miss’ Laremy Tunsil are the two previous winners.
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.
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