/10 finalists selected for C Spire Conerly

10 finalists selected for C Spire Conerly

The final list was made Monday afternoon. It includes the nation’s top scorer in Division II (Delta State’s Chris Robinson), Ole Miss’ Evan Engram, the SEC leader for touchdown catches (Mississippi State’s Fred Ross), and the SWAC leader for sacks (Alcorn’s Darian Anderson). A running back who has rushed for nearly 1,600 yards and 16 touchdowns in the Souther Miss’ Ito Smith. Named after Charlie Conerly from the College Football Hall of Fame, the Conerly Trophy is presented annually to the state’s best college football player. On Nov. 29, the award will be presented. The 2016 finalists are listed alphabetically: * Darian Anderson (Alcorn State linebacker): One of seven national finalist for Buck Buchanan Award, which recognizes the NCAA Division I FCS Division’s best defensive player. He leads the SWAC with 10 tackles and Alcorn with 80. * Austin Bray (Mississippi Valley State quarterback): He completed 129 of 239 passes, for 1,462 yards and eight touchdowns. He was also responsible for four rushing touchdowns. * Evan Engram (Ole Miss tight end): Engram has been a four-year starter and is the national leader in tight ends’ career receiving yards. He has caught 162 passes for 2,320 yard and 15 touchdowns. As an Ole Miss Rebel, Engram has played in 42 of the 45 games he has started. Engram was a finalist for Mackey Award. He was also on several mid-season All-America Teams. His 84.2 yard receiving per game lead all the nation’s tigh end. In the same category, he is second to none among all SEC receivers. * Alex Foust (Millsaps defensive tackle lineman): He made 42 tackles in his senior season. This was his third season as a starter. He finished second in the Southern Athletic Association 15.5 tackles to lose, totaling 58 yards. With 9.5 sacks, he was also second in the league. * Javancy Jones (Jackson State defensive end): He is the JSU C Spire Conerly nominee. Jones, a versatile defensive linebacker and linebacker who leads JSU’s defense with 17.5 tackles for loss and four quarterback interceptions for 26 yards losses, is an excellent example of a hybrid defensive end/linebacker. He is also used by JSU as a tight end. He has caught two passes, including one touchdown. * Hunter McEachern was the Belhaven quarterback. He was his freshman team captain and completed 337 of 574 passes, for 3,722 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 22 interceptions. Single-game records were set for pass attempts (76), completions (48) and passing touchdowns (6). In eight games, he threw for at least 300 yards and was the school’s second-highest passer. * Marcel Newson is Mississippi College’s wide receiver and kick returner. He was transferred from Northwest Community College. He was the leader of the Gulf South Conference, and ranks fifth in all-purpose yardage at 180.6 yards per match. He led the Gulf South Conference and was 27th in all-purpose yards with 180.6 yards per game. GSC third in kickoff return average (27.3), and punt return average (15.5). * Chris Robinson, Delta State runningback: Robinson from Bude was the nation’s top scorer in Division II. He also earned three times Gulf South Conference Player-of-the Week. Robinson averaged 14.4 point per game and scored 24 touchdowns. He ran 186 times, for 976 yards, and 19 touchdowns. He also caught 37 passes, totaling 551 yards and five touchdowns. He accumulated 1,544 all-purpose yards, tied the DSU/GSC records for touchdowns in one game with six against West Florida. * Fred Ross, Mississippi State wide receiver. He has 11 touchdown receptions and he caught 67 passes for 835 yard. Ross set four MSU career records for receiving this season: catches (184) and consecutive games with a catch (32) as well as receiving yards (2,275) and 100-yard receiving games (9, 9, and 9). Ross’s 184 career catches rank 16th in the SEC. With 33 catches, he leads all SEC receivers for 10-yard-plus plays at scrimmage. * Ito Smith (Southern Miss running back): Smith is one of the most prolific backs in school history. He has rushed for 1,195 yard and 15 touchdowns on 215 runs for 5.6 yards each. With 38 catches for 390 yard and another touchdown, he is the second-leading receiver on the team. He is a model of consistency and has scored at least one touchdown every game that the Golden Eagles have played. Smith has run for 237 yards, caught 11 passes to 86 yards and scored two touchdowns in two games against SEC rivals. Clarksdale Country club will host the 21st annual C Spire Conerly Trophy Presentation. A 5:30 p.m. reception will be followed by the banquet and trophy presentation at 6:30 p.m. For ticket information, contact the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum at 1-800-280-FAME (3263), 601-982-8264 or generalinfo@msfame.com.