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Mississippi’s Top College Football Player in 2019 to be Named From Among 10 Finalists for the C Spire Conerly Trophy

Mississippi State’s Kylin Hill and Ole Miss’ John Rhys Plumlee join eight others vying to win top college gridiron honor in Magnolia State

Fan voting, which influences 10 percent of the award total, starts today via online portal

Jackson, Miss. - (November 25, 2019) – Ole Miss’ record-setting freshman quarterback John Rhys Plumlee and Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill, who leads the SEC in rushing, top a list of 10 nominees for the 2019 C Spire Conerly Trophy, which annually honors the top college football player in the Magnolia State.

Plumlee, who needs only 11 yards to become the first Ole Miss quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards, and Hill join finalists from eight other schools vying for the coveted award, which is named after College Football Hall of Famer Charlie Conerly, who also starred for Ole Miss and the New York Giants.

The other eight finalists are Southern Miss quarterback Jack Abraham, Mississippi Valley State defensive back Tracy Thompkins, Mississippi College quarterback Detric Hawthorn, Alcorn State quarterback Felix Harper, Millsaps College defensive end Liam Vincifora, Belhaven University quarterback Hunter McEachern, Jackson State linebacker Keonte Hampton and Delta State defensive back Junior Faulk.

For the seventh time in the award’s 24-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 (Nov. 25) at 5 p.m. CT and conclude on Sunday, Dec. 1 at noon CT. Fans can vote online for their favorite player up to three times a day at http://cspireconerlyvoting.hscampaigns.com/.

“Football fans across Mississippi are very passionate about their schools and the star players in their respective programs. We are excited about giving 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 2019 C Spire Conerly Trophy finalists, in alphabetical order by school, include:

  • Alcorn State University – Junior quarterback Felix Harper, a candidate for the Walter Payton Trophy honoring the top HBCU football player, leads the Braves with 2,113 yards and 28 touchdowns (25 passing and 3 rushing). Alcorn finished with a 6-1 league record and will host the SWAC championship.
  • Belhaven University – Senior quarterback Hunter McEachern passed for 1,755 yards and nine touchdowns and ran for 267 yards in nine games for the 2-7 Blazers.
  • Delta State University – Defensive back Junior Faulk, who set the team record for interceptions with 9 this season as a junior, also had 13 pass break ups, 22 passes defended, forced and recovered a fumble and logged 32 unassisted and 5 assisted tackles.
  • Jackson State University – Sophomore linebacker Keonte Hampton, a pre-season all-SWAC selection, made 102 tackles, including 67 solo tackles. He had 13 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and forced one fumble in 11 games for the Tigers.
  • Millsaps College – Junior defensive end Liam Vincifora notched 21 tackles for a loss and had 14 sacks, which ranked tops in both categories in the SAA conference. He notched 59 total tackles, including 32 solo and 27 assisted on the season.
  • Mississippi College – Senior dual-threat quarterback Detric Hawthorn rushed for 586 yards and nine touchdowns and threw for 635 yards and four touchdowns for the Choctaws in 10 games.
  • Mississippi State University – Junior running back Kylin Hill, a Doak Walker Award candidate, has seven games with over 100 yards rushing and has totaled 1,388 yards from scrimmage this season.
  • Mississippi Valley State – Senior defensive back Tracy Thompkins notched 97 tackles, including 61 solo, and 12.5 tackles for loss. He also logged one sack, recovered two and forced three fumbles for the Delta Devils to lead the SWAC.
  • University of Mississippi – True freshman quarterback John Rhys Plumlee has been named SEC freshman of the week three times this season and became earlier this month just the fifth SEC quarterback in the last 20 years with four rushing touchdowns in a single game.
  • University of Southern Mississippi - Redshirt junior quarterback Jack Abraham led the Golden Eagles to a 7-4 record a and a bowl game with 3,147 yards passing and 18 touchdowns. He also has rushed for 105 yards and four touchdowns.

Past winners of the C Spire Conerly Trophy have included such former and current prominent NFL standouts as Evan Engram, Dak Prescott, Deuce McAllister, Eli Manning, Jerious Norwood, Michael Boley, Patrick Willis, Anthony Dixon and last year’s winner, Jeffrey Simmons. Prescott and Manning are the only two-time winners of the award.

The C Spire Conerly Trophy presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 3 at the Country Club of Jackson, 345 Saint Andrews Driver, 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 Southern Miss football legend Reggie Collier will be the special guest speaker at the awards program.

Now in its 24th year, the C Spire Conerly Trophy 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 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.