JACKSON, Miss., Nov. 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Mississippi State’s Jeffery Simmons, one of the most dominant defensive linemen in the country, was the top vote getter and winner of the fan voting segment of the 2018 C Spire Conerly Trophy, which annually honors the top college football player in Mississippi, it was announced Sunday.

Mississippi State junior defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons has won the fan voting portion of the 2018 C Spire Conerly Trophy, which annually honors the Magnolia State's top college football player.  Simmons, considered one of the nation's top defensive linemen, was the top vote getter among 10 finalists.  A record 44,175 votes were cast during the week-long fan voting.  A poll of sports media representatives determines the final winner - photo courtesy of Mississippi State Athletics

Simmons, a junior from Macon, received 13,894 votes from fans, which counts for 10 percent of the award.  Ole Miss junior wide receiver A. J. Brown finished second with 9,671 votes and Jackson State place kicker and punter Christian Jacquemin was third with 8,561 votes.  A panel of statewide sports media representatives decide the remaining 90 percent of the award.

A record 44,175 votes were cast for the 10 finalists from Magnolia state public colleges and universities via online voting at cspire.com/Conerly during the week-long fan voting period sponsored by C Spire and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.  This year’s overall winner will be announced at a special banquet Tuesday night at the Country Club of Jackson.

Simmons led all SEC defensive linemen with 59 tackles, including 24 solo tackles, this season and was fifth in the conference with 14.5 tackles for loss and a sack.  He is one of the most highly rated defensive interior linemen in the nation and the fourth best run defender in the FBS with 28 stops, 22 total pressures and 17 hurries, according to Pro Football Focus.

The other seven finalists who received fan votes were Southern Miss wide receiver Quez Watkins, Mississippi Valley State receiver and running back Booker Chambers, Mississippi College running back Tiberias Lampkin, Alcorn State quarterback Noah Johnson, Millsaps College linebacker Chandler Coleman, Belhaven University linebacker Denarrius Noel and Delta State quarterback Patrick Shegog.

The C Spire Conerly Trophy presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 27 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 Ole Miss and New Orleans Saints great Deuce McAllister will be the special guest speaker

This is the sixth time in the award’s 23-year history that fan voting has been allowed for the prestigious award.  “We have some of the most passionate college football fans in the country and this gives them a way to have their voice heard in choosing Mississippi’s best college football player,” said Jim Richmond, vice president of Marketing for C Spire.

Among past C Spire Conerly Trophy winners are such prominent former and active NFL standouts as two-time winners Dak Prescott and Eli Manning, Deuce McAllister, Jerious Norwood, Michael Boley, Patrick Willis, Anthony Dixon and Evan Engram

The award 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 since 1998.

About C Spire
C Spire is a leading technology company committed to transforming Mississippi through the C Spire Tech Movement, which includes the massive deployment of broadband internet to homes and small businesses, technology innovation leadership and the creation and retention of a 21st century technology workforce in its region.  The company 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.

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