CLARKSDALE, Miss., Nov. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram, one of the nation's top receivers this season, won the C Spire Conerly Trophy Tuesday night as the Magnolia state's top college football player in 2016.
Engram, a senior from Powder Springs, Georgia, led the nation among tight ends with 926 yards receiving and eight touchdowns. He edged out three other finalists for the award, including Jackson State defensive end Javancy Jones, Mississippi State wide receiver Fred Ross and Southern Miss running back Ito Smith. The trophy was presented during a sold out Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame awards banquet in Clarksdale, Mississippi - hometown of award namesake Charlie Conerly, a Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer, college All-American, an NFL rookie of the year and NFL All-Pro who quarterbacked the New York Giants to a world championship. The other six award nominees were Alcorn State linebacker Darien Anderson, Mississippi Valley State quarterback Austin Bray, Millsaps defensive lineman Alex Foust, Belhaven quarterback Hunter McEachern, Mississippi College wide receiver Marcel Newson and Delta State running back Chris Robinson. Mississippi State offensive lineman Justin Senior received the fourth annual Kent Hull Trophy as Mississippi's top college offensive lineman in 2016. The award is named for the late Kent Hull, a Mississippi State and Buffalo Bills pro football standout. Jones won the fan voting segment with over 3,300 votes, which counted for 10 percent of the award. Engram finished second with 2,862 votes and Ross was third with 1,995 votes. College football fans cast over 11,000 votes via social media and text messaging for their favorite players during the week-long fan voting competition. The other 90 percent of the final tally came from a select panel of Mississippi sports media who regularly cover the state's college football teams. The voting is tabulated and certified by an outside auditor. Previous winners of the C Spire Conerly Trophy include former and current NFL players such as Dak Prescott, Eli Manning, Anthony Dixon, Patrick Willis, Deuce McAllister, Jerious Norwood and Michael Boley. Prescott, who is a starting rookie quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, and Manning are the only two-time winners in the award's 21 year history. Engram holds school records for most catches, yards and touchdowns in a season and a career by a tight end. This season, Engram racked up 65 catches for 926 and eight touchdowns. He becomes the sixth player from Ole Miss to receive the C Spire Conerly award since the trophy's beginnings in 1996. C Spire has sponsored the outstanding player award program for all major college sports in Mississippi since 1998. "We're very pleased with the caliber of players selected as nominees and finalists for the C Spire Conerly Trophy this year," said Jim Richmond, vice president of Corporate Communications for C Spire. "Our winner is not only a great football player, but an outstanding young man with good character, a strong record of community involvement and a terrific work ethic." About C Spire C Spire is a diversified telecommunications and technology services company that provides world-class customer-inspired service and a superior comprehensive suite of customer-inspired wireless communications, high-speed Internet access and a range of other telecommunications products and services to consumers and 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.