OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) – Ole Miss football announced its annual spring awards Saturday, headlined by senior defensive back C.J. Moore being named the 2018 Chucky Mullins Courage Award winner.
A native of Bassfield, Mississippi, Moore became the 28th recipient in the 29-year history of the award when it was revealed at Saturday's breakfast ceremony, presented by the M-Club.
Moore will wear Mullins' No. 38 jersey throughout the 2018 season.
The award, sponsored by Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, honors the late Chucky Mullins, who had his Ole Miss career come to an end during the 1989 Homecoming game against Vanderbilt when he was paralyzed after making a tackle. After returning to his studies at Ole Miss, Mullins passed away May 6, 1991.
Moore was selected from among several veteran defensive players by head coach Matt Luke and the Rebel coaching staff. The award is presented annually to an Ole Miss upperclassman defensive player that embodies the spirit of Mullins - courage, leadership, perseverance and determination.
In his three-year Ole Miss career, Moore has appeared in 37 games in the Rebel secondary. Moore, who started five times at free safety and once at cornerback in 2017, tallied a career-high 51 tackles last season and led the Rebels with three interceptions.
Former Chucky Mullins Courage Award recipients are Chris Mitchell, Jeff Carter, Trea Southerland, Johnny Dixon, Alundis Brice, Michael Lowery, Derek Jones, Nate Wayne, Gary Thigpen, Ronnie Heard, Anthony Magee, Kevin Thomas, Lanier Goethie, Jamil Northcutt, Eric Oliver, Kelvin Robinson, Patrick Willis, Jeremy Garrett, Jamarca Sanford, Marcus Tillman, Kentrell Lockett, Deterrian Shackelford (twice), Jason Jones, Mike Marry, Mike Hilton, John Youngblood and Marquis Haynes.
The Rebel coaching staff handed out a number of other awards prior to kickoff of the 2018 Grove Bowl, as listed below.
The Eli Manning Award – Octavious Cooley
Presented to the most improved offensive football player based on spring practice performance in the area of spirit, leadership, hustle, determination and dependability.
The Jeff Hamm Memorial Award – Ryder Anderson
Presented to the most improved defensive football player based on spring practice performance in the areas of spirit, leadership, hustle, determination and dependability.
The J. Richard Price Courage and Compassion Award – Jordan Sims
This award is presented annually to the upperclassman lineman who, in the opinion of his coaches, has demonstrated extraordinary courage and unusual compassion in his dedication to his team and to Ole Miss.
Park Stevens Memorial Scholarship – Floyd Allen
This award is presented annually to the top walk-on of the spring.
The John Howard Vaught Award of Excellence – Jordan Wilkins
Presented to a graduating senior athlete. Qualifications are dedication, scholastic ability, morale and performance.
Birmingham Alumni Club's annual Leadership Award – Tayler Polk
This award is a portrait awarded in recognition of a graduating senior football player for his leadership qualities both on and off the field.
Clower-Walters Scholarship – Gary Wunderlich
Established in 1974 by Jerry Clower to honor Carl Walters, a veteran Mississippi sportswriter. A plaque will be awarded to an outstanding graduating senior Ole Miss football player as selected by the coaching staff and a scholarship will be awarded in the name of the player selected.