Mississippi State's Simmons wins Conerly Trophy

The 6-foot-4, 300-pound defensive tackle became the first defensive player to win the award since Mississippi State linebacker Chris White in 2010.

Posted: Nov 27, 2018 9:29 PM
Updated: Nov 27, 2018 11:11 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi State's Jeffery Simmons won the Conerly Trophy on Tuesday night after being an anchor in the middle of one of the nation's best defenses.

The Conerly is awarded to Mississippi's top college football player, and past winners include current and former NFL stars like Eli Manning, Deuce McAllister, Patrick Willis and Dak Prescott. Simmons beat out three other finalists on Tuesday: Ole Miss receiver A.J. Brown, Southern Mississippi receiver Quez Watkins and Alcorn State quarterback Noah Johnson.

The 6-foot-4, 300-pound defensive tackle became the first defensive player to win the award since Mississippi State linebacker Chris White in 2010.

Simmons faced double teams all season that sometimes limited his production. He said he was honored that the fans and media who voted on the award still recognized his ability to change games.

"It's just a big part of the defense — stopping the run up the middle," Simmons said. "I take a lot of pride in it."

The Macon, Mississippi, native finished the regular season with 59 tackles, including a team-high 14½ for a loss. The junior formed a potent one-two combo with defensive end Montez Sweat, who had 11 sacks.

Mississippi State's defense is allowing just 12 points per game, which is the best mark in the country. The Bulldogs finished with an 8-4 record in the regular season, including a 35-3 win over Ole Miss in Egg Bowl on Thursday.

Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead said Simmons is a special talent.

"In 20 years, I've not seen one like Jeffery in college," Moorhead said. "He does things from a strength standpoint against 320-pound guys that a human being shouldn't be able to do.

"You couple that with unbelievable athleticism, effort and precision and there's a reason he's going to be a top (NFL) draft pick someday."

Simmons' main competition for the award came from Brown.

The 6-foot-1, 230-pound junior was among the most productive receivers in the country, catching 85 passes for 1,320 yards and six touchdowns. He was trying to become the third two-time Conerly winner after earning the award last season.

Brown was a fan favorite at Ole Miss partly because of his production, but also because he came to the Rebels after playing in high school in Starkville, which is the home of rival Mississippi State.

The two-time winners of the Conerly are quarterbacks Manning and Prescott.

The other nominees for the Conerly were Belhaven's Denarrius Noel, Delta State's Patrick Shegog, Jackson State's Christian Jacquemin, Millsaps' Chandler Coleman, Mississippi College's Tiberias Lampkin and Mississippi Valley's Booker Chambers.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10563104
Hinds10414204
Harrison7397113
Jackson6655128
Rankin6057107
Lee540396
Madison5120107
Forrest394786
Jones376188
Lauderdale3663147
Lafayette341053
Washington3321108
Lamar301950
Oktibbeha255262
Lowndes252867
Bolivar248084
Panola237353
Neshoba2280122
Marshall225051
Leflore211191
Monroe209778
Pontotoc208131
Lincoln200566
Sunflower194155
Warren183058
Tate180451
Union172926
Copiah170840
Pike166760
Scott161330
Yazoo161340
Itawamba159936
Alcorn159328
Pearl River158969
Coahoma155943
Prentiss154931
Simpson154053
Adams147252
Grenada145445
Leake141844
Holmes134461
Covington130040
Tippah130030
George129525
Winston128726
Hancock127641
Wayne123024
Attala122834
Marion121447
Tishomingo114043
Chickasaw110732
Newton110529
Tallahatchie99427
Clay96127
Clarke94853
Jasper87023
Stone82015
Calhoun79513
Walthall79330
Montgomery78426
Carroll75515
Lawrence74614
Smith74216
Yalobusha74228
Noxubee73317
Perry68726
Tunica63019
Greene62422
Jefferson Davis59617
Claiborne59216
Amite57615
Humphreys55219
Quitman5107
Benton50418
Kemper48018
Webster47714
Wilkinson40722
Jefferson38312
Choctaw3637
Franklin3635
Sharkey32917
Issaquena1214
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 256828

Reported Deaths: 3711
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34214511
Mobile20299366
Madison13925150
Tuscaloosa13591156
Montgomery12659238
Shelby1095877
Baldwin9163137
Lee792566
Morgan710851
Etowah677467
Calhoun6695121
Marshall665757
Houston548239
DeKalb504738
Cullman472043
St. Clair451857
Limestone447546
Lauderdale436054
Elmore427564
Walker3818111
Talladega374457
Jackson350723
Colbert336443
Blount310043
Autauga287342
Franklin259734
Coffee254115
Dale242054
Dallas232932
Chilton230841
Russell22813
Covington227934
Escambia206131
Tallapoosa189191
Chambers185950
Pike162214
Clarke161819
Marion146136
Winston141924
Lawrence135336
Pickens127720
Geneva12638
Marengo125224
Bibb123938
Barbour120629
Butler118842
Randolph105922
Cherokee105524
Hale99732
Fayette96316
Clay93525
Washington93319
Henry8946
Monroe83811
Lowndes82129
Cleburne79914
Macon76522
Crenshaw72930
Conecuh72414
Lamar7138
Bullock70919
Perry6927
Wilcox64918
Sumter58922
Greene44218
Choctaw43519
Coosa3724
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