Mississippi college baseball, football, men’s and women’s basketball players

Jackson, Miss. – (May 18, 2021) – Mississippi State outfielder Tanner Allen, Jackson State guard Tristan Jarrett, Jackson State guard Dayzsha Rogan and Mississippi Valley State linebacker Jerry Garner were the top vote getters and winners of the fan voting segment for the 2021 C Spire Outstanding Player Awards, which annually honor Mississippi’s top college baseball, football, men’s and women’s basketball players.

Fan voting results, which count for 10% of the total, were announced Monday afternoon after an email address validation process.  The awards program was curtailed last year by co-sponsors C Spire and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame after a public health crisis caused some sports to be discontinued and others to be rescheduled due to health restrictions and concerns. 

A total of 37,988 votes were cast for the 19 nominees from Magnolia state public colleges and universities via online voting during the six-day long fan voting period sponsored by C Spire and the MSHOF.  Overall winners of the four awards will be announced on Monday, May 24 at noon during a special virtual program online at www.msfame.com.  Veteran CBS NFL television analyst Charles Davis will be the special master of ceremonies.

Top-polling nominees and the votes they received for the C Spire Outstanding Players Awards in 2021:

  • Football: Conerly Trophy (selected by the schools that played football last fall and this spring): Mississippi Valley State University linebacker Jerry Garner 3,435 votes; Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes with 3,061 votes, Jackson State wide receiver Daylen Baldwin, 2,148 votes; Southern Miss offensive lineman Arvin Fletcher, 1,929; Ole Miss wide receiver Elijah Moore, 1,663; Belhaven running back Brad Foley, 572; Millsaps defensive back Christian Roberts, 192 and Mississippi College running back Cole Fagan with 17 votes.
  • Men’s basketball: Howell Trophy (selected by statewide media) Jackson State guard Tristan Jarrett received 6,481 votes while Mississippi State guard D.J. Stewart Jr. got 2,772 votes and Ole Miss guard Devontae Shuler trailed with 1,446 votes.
  • Women’s basketball: Gillom Trophy (selected by statewide media) Jackson State guard Dayzsha Rogan edged out fellow teammate, center Ameshya Williams, with 3,591 votes to 3,158 votes.  Ole Miss forward Shakira Austin garnered 2,170 votes.
  • Baseball: Ferriss Trophy (selected by Major League Baseball professional scouts and coaches): Mississippi State outfielder Tanner Allen was the top vote getter with 2,612 votes followed by fellow teammate and pitcher Landon Sims with 903. A trio of Ole Miss players led by pitchers Doug Nikhazy (699 votes) and Gunnar Hoglund (573 votes) and outfielder Kevin Graham (566 votes) rounded out the baseball tally.

This is the ninth time in the award’s 25-year history that fan voting has been allowed for the prestigious awards.  “We have some of the most passionate college sports fans in the country and this gives them a way to have their voice heard in choosing Mississippi’s best players,” 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.

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