Watch List Announced for the 28th C Spire Conerly Trophy

Posted on: October 18,2023

The following player and team statistics were recorded as of Friday, October 13, 2023.

Jackson, Miss. – (October 13, 2023) –  The Annual C Spire Trophy presentation will take place at the Country Club of Jackson on Tuesday, November 28th. This prestigious trophy is awarded to the top college football player in the state at the end of the regular football season. Each four-year school nominates one player, and then media selects the winner. The following list does not presume to know which players will be nominated, just showcases the standout players from each school so far this season.

Alcorn State University (3-3 overall, 2-1 conference): Head Coach Fred McNair’s signal caller Aaron Allen has completed 108 of 157 (69%) of his passes for 1182 yards and seven touchdowns. Jarveon Howard leads the team in rushing with 289 yards and three touchdowns, while Malik Rodgers leads the team in receptions with 322 yards and 1 touchdown. Monterio Hunt has 21 catches. Terreance Ellis leads the defense with 57 total tackles, five tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks.

Belhaven University (5-0 overall, 3-0 conference): Head Coach Blaine McCorkle’s Blazers are led by Tim Johnson who has completed 42 of 74 (57%) of his passes for eight touchdowns. Running Back Kolbe Blunt has rushed for 690 yards and eight touchdowns. Jacobey James-Grace and Cooper Tullo both have nine receptions and seven touchdowns between them. Carlton Brown is the leading tackler on defense with 32 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, and five sacks.

Delta State University (6-0 overall, 4-0 conference): Head Coach Todd Cooley is glad to have graduate student Patrick Shegog leading the Statesmen again this year, throwing for 1302 yards with 18 touchdowns and running for 333 yards and six touchdowns. Kelvin Smith is the team’s leading rusher with 393 yards and five touchdowns, while Jalen May has 17 receptions for three touchdowns. Wydett Williams, Jr. is the team’s leading tackler with 33 tackles and Mark Robinson has 4.5 tackles for loss and one sack.

Jackson State University (4-2 overall, 2-1 conference): T.C. Taylor has had to find replacements for many players this year after the departure of Deion Sanders. Running Back Irv Mulligan has become a force in the running game, averaging over 101 yards per game and has five touchdowns. Quarterback Jason Brown has thrown for 1123 yards and eight touchdowns, completing 63.5% of his passes. Rico Powers has 24 catches for 386 yards and two touchdowns. Isaac Peppers has 37 tackles, six tackles for loss, and two sacks.

Millsaps College (1-5 overall, 1-3 conference): Interim Head Coach Corey York has had a top player thus far in Nehemiah Coalson with 43 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and one interception. Other names to watch from Millsaps are Quarterback Gray Jennings, who has completed 49% of his passes for nine touchdowns, Joshua Richardson, the leading rusher, and Temias Mason who has 25 receptions and four touchdowns.

Mississippi College (2-3 overall, 1-2 conference): Defensive Back David Brown tops the Choctaws in tackles with 31, has one interception, two forced fumbles, and 3.5 tackles for loss under Head Coach John Bland. Quarterback Cameron Davis has completed 55% of his passes for 421 yards and two touchdowns. Ron Craten is the leading rusher with 362 yards and four touchdowns. Javier Batiste leads the team with 10 receptions for 124 yards.

Mississippi State University (3-3 overall, 0-3 conference): First-year Head Coach Zach Arnett’s veteran QB Will Rogers continues to lead the offense, hitting 61% of his passes for 1275 yards and 10 touchdowns. Jo’Quavious Marks leads the Bulldogs in rushing with 458 yards and four touchdowns. Lideatrick Griffin has caught 29 passes for 474 yards and three touchdowns. Jett Johnson is the defense’s leading tackler with 42 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, and two interceptions.

Mississippi Valley State University (0-5 overall, 0-2 conference): The leading rusher for Coach Kendrick Wade’s Devils is Jared Wilson, rushing for 241 yards and one touchdown. Quarterback Ty’Jarian Williams has hit on 41 of 68 (60%) of his passes for 384 yards and one touchdown. Cobie Bates and Jaxson Davis both have 12 catches this season. On the defense, Jayren Fox has 32 tackles and two tackles for loss.

University of Mississippi (5-1 overall, 2-1 conference): Jaxson Dart runs Lane Kiffin’s fast-paced offense, completing 64% of his passes for 1638 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has also run for four touchdowns. Last year’s C Spire Conerly Trophy winner Quinshon Judkins is the team’s leading rusher with 443 yards. Jordan Watkins leads in catches with 36 and Tre Harris has 17 receptions for six touchdowns. Trey Washington leads in tackles with 42 and has two tackles for loss.

University of Southern Mississippi (1-5 overall, 0-3 conference): Versatile Running Back Frank Gore, Jr. leads Coach Will Hall’s Golden Eagles in rushing with 397 yards and four touchdowns. Billy Wiles has completed 107 of 200 (53.5%) of his passes for 1254 yards and seven touchdowns. Jakarius Caston and Latreal Jones are the leading receivers with 21 and 23 catches respectively. Dylan Lawrence leads in tackles with 23 tackles and one tackle for loss.

The C Spire Conerly Trophy is a part of the Outstanding Player Awards Series which also includes the Howell (men’s basketball), Gillom (women’s basketball), and Ferriss (baseball) Trophies sponsored by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and Pearl River Resort. This year will mark the 28th presentation of the C Spire Conerly Trophy. Tickets for the C Spire Conerly banquet are on sale now.

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