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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 fifth 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 20, 2017) – With an exciting college football season winding down in Mississippi, interest is growing in the 2017 C Spire Conerly Trophy as fans wait anxiously to see who will win the coveted award, which annually honors the top college football player in the Magnolia state.

While all the teams will determine their ultimate fate on the gridiron, college football fans will help influence who gets the best player honors. For only the fifth time in the award’s 22-year history, fan voting will count for 10 percent of the Conerly Trophy and a panel of statewide sports media will decide the remaining 90 percent.

“We want fans to help select Mississippi’s best college football player,” said Bill Blackwell, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum and co-sponsor of the award along with C Spire. “Other sports have used fan voting for years. We think involving fans will help sustain interest in an award that’s become an integral part of the college football scene.”

The 10 Conerly Trophy finalists are Ole Miss wide receiver A. J. Brown, Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, Southern Miss running back Ito Smith, Mississippi Valley State defensive back Mark Pegues, Mississippi College defensive back Chris Manning, Alcorn State running back De’Lance Turner, Millsaps College linebacker Jacob Kendall, Belhaven University quarterback Hunter McEachern, Jackson State linebacker Shawn Bishop and Delta State running back Chris Robinson.

Fan voting begins tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. CST and concludes on Sunday, Nov. 26 at 5 p.m. CST. Just as the media voters do, fans will vote for a first place, second place and third place winner on 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. To register and vote, go to www.csopavoting.com.

Among past C Spire Conerly Trophy winners are such prominent former and active NFL standouts as two-time winners, Dak Prescott and Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Deuce McAllister, Jerious Norwood, Michael Boley, Patrick Willis, Anthony Dixon and many others.

"Football fans across Mississippi are very passionate about their schools and the star players in their respective programs. 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 Marketing for C Spire.

The C Spire Conerly Trophy presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 28 at the Hilton Jackson, 1001 County Line Road, in Jackson. A 5:30 p.m. reception will be followed by the 6:30 p.m. dinner program and trophy presentation. Coaches and finalists from all the schools are expected to attend. For ticket availability or more information, go to msfame.com or call 601.982.8264. Former Ole Miss and New Orleans Saints great Archie Manning will be the special guest speaker at the awards program.

Now in its 22nd 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 leading technology company committed to transforming Mississippi through the C Spire Tech Movement, which includes the massive deployment of broadband internet to homes and small businesses, a state-of-the-art digital experience for its customers and team members, technology innovation leadership and the creation and retention of a 21st century technology workforce in its region. The company provides world-class, customer-inspired wireless communications, 1 Gigabit consumer Internet access as well as a full suite of dedicated Internet, wireless, IP Voice, data and cloud services for 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.