Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott Wins C Spire Conerly Trophy as Best College Football Player in Magnolia State During 2015
Bulldogs record-setting quarterback first player in award’s 20 year history to win back-to-back trophies; outdistances two other finalists in voting by a panel of in-state sports news media representatives
Jackson, Miss. - (December 1, 2015) – Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott, owner of 38 school records for passing, rushing and scoring, won the C Spire Conerly Trophy Tuesday night as the Magnolia state’s top college football player for the second year in a row.
Prescott, the first player in the award’s 20 year history to win back-to-back awards and only the second two-time winner of the award - joining former Ole Miss quarterback Eli Manning, produced 329.5 yards of total offense per game and 35 touchdowns this year in leading the Bulldogs to an 8-4 record and the team’s sixth consecutive bowl appearance.
The fifth year senior from Haughton, La., captured the award over two other strong finalists, including Ole Miss wide receiver and Biletnikoff Award finalist Laquon Treadwell and Southern Miss quarterback Nick Mullens, who rewrote Golden Eagle passing records this year. Fahn Cooper of Ole Miss received the third annual Kent Hull Trophy as Mississippi’s top college offensive lineman in 2015.
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 seven nominees were Mississippi Valley State safety Marquis Green, Jackson State defensive end Javancy Jones, Mississippi College wide receiver Marcel Newson, Alcorn running back Darryan Ragsdale, Millsaps linebacker Hector Sandoval, Belhaven University cornerback Isaiah Swopes and Delta State wide receiver Jarvis York.
Prescott’s eye-popping career statistics rank third in SEC history with 11,470 career yards of total offense and he joined Tim Tebow and Colin Kaepernick this year as the only quarterbacks in the last two decades to rush for 10 touchdowns in three straight seasons. Only one other player has accounted for more total yards of offense in a single SEC game: Johnny Manziel.
Only three players in SEC history (Tebow, Aaron Murray and Danny Wuerffel) have accounted for more touchdowns over their college career than Prescott, who has thrown 66 TD passes, run for 41 TDs and caught three for a total of 110 and only four other players in NCAA FBS history have at least 60 passing TDs and 40 rushing TDs.
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. Cooper was a mainstay on the Ole Miss offensive line, earning SEC weekly honors this year. Fellow offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil won last year and Gabe Jackson of Mississippi State won the inaugural Hull Trophy.
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 third time, fan voting counted for 10 percent of the overall vote. Treadwell led the record-setting fan voting this year, followed by Prescott and Mullens. 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."
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 this year,” 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 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 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.