Southern Miss

Six Magnolia State senior stars among Conerly Trophy finalists

Southern Miss running back Ito Smith rushes for a first down against Marshall on Oct. 29 at M. M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg.
Southern Miss running back Ito Smith rushes for a first down against Marshall on Oct. 29 at M. M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg. ttisbell@sunherald.com

Ten finalists were announced Monday for the C Spire Conerly Trophy, which goes to the state's top college football player.

The winner will be announced on Nov. 29 at the Clarksdale Country Club in Clarksdale.

The finalists are:

Alcorn State — Senior linebacker Darien Anderson led the Braves in tackles, solo tackles, and assisted tackles. First in SWAC with 10 sacks for the season, Anderson is on the Buck Buchanan Watch list for best FCS Defensive Player of the Year.

Belhaven — Freshman QB Hunter McEachern was elected a team captain in his first year in the program. He set school season records for pass attempts (574) completions (337) and touchdowns (31). His 3,722 passing yards were second in school history.

Delta State — Junior running back Chris Robinson led the nation in touchdowns scored in NCAA Division II with 24. He totaled 19 rushing touchdowns and added 5 more receiving scores. He picked up 976 yards rushing and caught 37 passes for 551 yards.

Jackson State — Senior Defensive End/Linebacker Javancy Jones is nominated for the second consecutive year. He led the Tigers in tackles, solo tackles and assisted tackles. The versatile Senior also played at tight end and caught two passes including one touchdown.

Millsaps College — Senior defensive lineman Alex Foust led the Majors with 42 tackles, including 15.5 for a loss. He also recorded 9.5 sacks which placed him second in the conference.

Mississippi College — Senior receiver/kick returner Marcel Newson represents the Choctaws for the second consecutive year. Newson led the Gulf South Conference and ranked fifth nationally in all-purpose yards per game with 180.6. He led the conference in receiving yards per game (94.8) and was among the leaders in both kickoff and punt returns.

Mississippi State — Senior wide receiver Fred Ross leads the Bulldogs this season in catches (67), receiving yardage (835) and receiving touchdowns (11). The 11 TD grabs are tops in the SEC. He averages 12.5 yards per catch.

Mississippi Valley State — Junior Quarterback Austin Bray passed for eight touchdowns while completing 129 of 239 attempts for 1462 yards. He also ran for four scores.

Ole Miss — Senior tight end Evan Engram leads the nation in yards per game for tight ends with 84.2 and also tops all SEC receivers with that number. The Ole Miss Rebel is a finalist for this year’s John Mackey Award.

Southern Miss — Junior running back Ito Smith has rushed for 1,195 yards and 15 touchdowns. He averages 5.6 yards per carry. He also has 38 receptions and one touchdown catch. He has scored at least one touchdown in 16 consecutive games.

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