Final 4 finalists named for C Spire Conerly

Senquez Golson, one of five finalists for the Bronco Nagurski Award as the nation’s top defensive player, will represent Ole Miss as a finalist at the C Spire Conerly Trophy Banquet Dec. 2.

Golson, a junior cornerback from Pascagoula, today is one of the final four finalists to be named. Others include Alcorn quarterback John Gibbs, Jr., who guided the Braves to a 9-2 record and a SWAC Eastern Division title, Mississippi Valley State wide receiver Julian Stafford, who led the SWAC in receiving with 67 catches and nine touchdowns and Millsaps defensive end Zach Bell a preseason All America candidate.

Those four join Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott, Southern Miss defensive end Dasman McCullum, Jackson State wide receiver Daniel Williams, Mississippi College defensive back Dylan Klibert and Belhaven wide receiver Greg Livingston as Conerly finalists named last week.

Golson leads the SEC and ranks second nationally in pass interceptions with nine. Golson also has been in on 35 tackles, three for losses. He has broken up a team-high seven passes. Golson’s interception in the final seconds sealed Ole Miss’ victory over No. 1 ranked Alabama. He is also a national semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik and Jim Thorpe awards.

Gibbs, a junior from Houston, Texas, accounted for 29 Alcorn touchdowns, 18 passing and 11 rushing. He completed 164 of 294 passes for 2,237 yards and ran for 874 yards on 119 carries to help Alcorn score an average of 44.5 points per game.

Stafford, a senior from Memphis, led Valley and the SWAC in every receiving category including receptions (67), receiving yards (1,037), and touchdowns (9). He also returned 26 kickoffs for 407 yards.

Bell, a senior from Metairie, recorded a team-high 17.5 tackles for losses and 9.5 sacks in nine games. He also broke up six passes, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble that he returned for 60 yards.

As was the case last year, fans can vote. Fan voting conducted by C Spire will account for a weighted 10 percent of the voting. Voting by a statewide panel of media will account for the other 90 percent.

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 beginningTuesday.

The Dec. 2 banquet, at which the second annual Kent Hull Trophy also will be presented to the top college offensive lineman in Mississippi, is nearing a sellout with limited seating. Contact the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame at 601 982-8264 for tickets or more details.

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