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19 college nominees hoping for Outstanding Player Awards

Some of the top college athletes to play the major sports of football, baseball and men’s and women’s basketball in Mississippi will be honored from among 19 nominees for the 2021 C Spire Outstanding Player Awards, which annually honor the Magnolia state’s best performers.

C Spire, along with the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum (MSHOF), announced the nominees Monday for the C Spire Conerly Trophy (football), the C Spire Ferris Trophy (baseball), the C Spire Howell Trophy (men’s basketball) and the C Spire Gillom Trophy (women’s basketball).

The awards program was cancelled last year by co-sponsors C Spire and the MSHOF after a global pandemic caused some sports to be discontinued and others to be curtailed due to health restrictions and concerns.  All four awards will be conferred during a virtual program on Monday, May 24 at noon. Fans, players and family members can watch the program online at www.msfame.com.  Veteran CBS NFL television analyst Charles Davis will be the special master of ceremonies.

Nominees for the C Spire Outstanding Players Awards in 2021 include:

  • Football: Conerly Trophy (selected by the schools that played football last fall and this spring): Belhaven running back Brad Foley, Jackson State wide receiver Daylen Baldwin, Millsaps defensive back Christian Roberts, Mississippi College running back Cole Fagan, Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi Valley State defensive end-linebacker Jerry Garner, Ole Miss wide receiver Elijah Moore and Southern Miss outside linebacker Arvin Fletcher.

  • Men’s basketball: Howell Trophy (selected by statewide media) Jackson State guard Tristan Jarrett. Mississippi State guard D.J. Stewart Jr. and Ole Miss guard Devontae Shuler

  • Women’s basketball: Gillom Trophy (selected by statewide media) Jackson State center Ameysha Williams and guard Dayzsha Rogan and Ole Miss forward Shakira Austin.

  • Baseball: Ferriss Trophy (selected by Major League Baseball professional scouts and coaches): Mississippi State outfielder Tanner Allen and pitcher Landon Sims and Ole Miss outfielder Kevin Graham and pitchers Gunner Hoglund and Doug Nikhazy.

“College sports is very popular in Mississippi and we want to make sure that players and schools get the recognition they deserve and honor their achievements on the gridiron, on the basketball court and baseball diamond,” said Jim Richmond, vice president of Marketing for C Spire.

The awards are named after some Mississippi sports legends, including former college and NFL star Charlie Conerly, Boston Celtics basketball great Bailey Howell, Ole Miss’ best all-round women’s basketball player Peggy Gillom-Granderson and long-time coach and former college and Major League Baseball star Dave “Boo” Ferriss. All four have had storied college and professional careers in football, baseball and basketball.