JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) – Ole Miss football freshman quarterback John Rhys Plumlee is one of 10 finalists for the C Spire Conerly Trophy, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum announced Monday.
The C Spire Conerly Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding college football player in Mississippi. The winner will be announced Tuesday, Dec. 3, at the Country Club of Jackson.
Plumlee, who took over the starting quarterback role in Week 5, ranks second in the conference in rushing touchdowns (11) and fourth in rushing yards (989). He is first in yards on the ground per game (123.6). Plumlee needs just 11 yards to become just the sixth Rebel – first quarterback – to surpass the 1,000-yard rushing mark in a single season.
The Hattiesburg, Mississippi, native produced an historic rushing effort against top-ranked LSU two weeks ago. The true freshman signal-caller rushed for 212 yards and four touchdowns against a Tiger defense that came into the game No. 2 in the SEC and No. 13 nationally in rushing defense, allowing just 100.7 yards rushing per game. It set a single-game Ole Miss rushing record by a Rebel quarterback and freshman.
Plumlee became just the fifth SEC quarterback over the last 20 seasons with four rushing TDs in a game (Nick Fitzgerald [2x], Cam Newton, Tim Tebow and Jesse Palmer). The last time an Ole Miss player rushed for four or more touchdowns was Dexter McCluster vs. Tennessee in 2009. He was the first QB to rush for at least 200 yards against the AP No. 1 team since Vince Young did it in the 2006 Rose Bowl vs. USC.
The Hattiesburg, Mississippi, native is also the first quarterback to rush for 200+ yards on LSU since Cam Newton in 2010. With his four TDs vs. the Tigers, Plumlee extended his freshman rushing touchdown record (11), as well as his freshman overall TD record (15).
From Week 5 to the present, Plumlee ranks ninth in the entire country in total rushing yards (967). He has also gained that yardage on a very impressive 7.5 yards per carry (second among all FBS QBs with 50+ rushes during that span).
Among all QBs in the 2019 season, only Jalen Hurts of Oklahoma has more yardage against Power 5 competition than Plumlee’s 843 yards. When looking strictly at designed runs, Plumlee’s 743 yards are the most of any FBS QB this season.
Named after College Football Hall of Famer and Ole Miss legend Charlie Conerly, the trophy was first conferred in 1996. The Conerly Trophy has been awarded to an Ole Miss player eight times, more than any other program: Stewart Patridge (1997), Deuce McAllister (1999), Eli Manning (2001, 2003), Patrick Willis (2006), Bo Wallace (2012), Evan Engram (2016) and A.J. Brown (2017).
Players are chosen by their respective schools. A combination of votes from the C Spire fan voting and a poll of sports news media representatives determine the winner. Fan voting begins today runs through noon on Sunday, Dec. 1. Voters can cast a ballot up to three times per day at here.
Tickets are on sale now for the Conerly Trophy banquet at the Hall of Fame office and online at www.msfame.com. Advance tickets are required and no sales will be available at the doors. All proceeds benefit the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.
2019 C SPIRE CONERLY TROPHY FINALISTS
Alcorn State - QB Felix Harper
Belhaven – QB Hunter McEachern
Delta State – DB Junior Faulk
Jackson State – LB Keonte Hampton
Millsaps – DE Liam Vincifora
Mississippi College – QB Detric Hawthorn
Mississippi State – RB Kylin Hill
Mississippi Valley State – DB Tracy Thompkins
Ole Miss – QB John Rhys Plumlee
Southern Miss – QB Jack Abraham