Patrick Willis Honored with Conerly Trophy

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
By CHRIS TALBOTT
Associated Press Writer

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Ole Miss' Patrick Willis picked up his first piece of hardware Wednesday when he won the Conerly Trophy, given to the best college football player in the state.

The linebacker is also a finalist for the Butkus and Nagurski awards, and a likely all-America pick. He'd like more trophies.  "I hope so," Willis said of the possibility of more accolades after the award presentation at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum. "I'm just going to take them one at a time and not ever think that I don't have a chance, but at the same time don't think that I have it wrapped up. I'm just going to sit there in a modest way and hope that I can (win). If not, then it's always a blessing and a pleasure to just be sitting up there."  Willis beat out Scott Eyster of Delta State and Southern Miss' Damion Fletcher for the award.  The 6-foot-3, 230-pound senior from Bruceton, Tenn., led the Southeastern Conference in tackles for the second straight season. This year he was the only SEC defender to average more than 10 tackles a game with 11.4. His 137 stops rank sixth in the nation and he's third in solo tackles with more than seven a game.  "I couldn't believe it, I really couldn't," Willis said. "I thought Scott Eyster was going to get the award. If he would've gotten it I wouldn't have been bitter because he sweated and bled just like I have."  Eyster, a 6-foot-3 senior from Hammond, La., is a four-time finalist for the award. He will lead the Statesmen against North Alabama in the Division II quarterfinals Saturday. He has 3,375 yards passing this season and 31 touchdowns. He has passed for 13,336 yards and 111 touchdowns in his career.  Eyster was named the Gulf South Conference offensive player of the year this season and is a national finalist for the Harlon Hill Award, presented annually to the nation's Division II player of the year.  Fletcher, a freshman tailback who ranks 11th in the country, did not attend the awards because Southern Miss is preparing to play Houston in the Conference USA championship game Friday.  The Biloxi native set a record this year with 1,240 yards rushing, the most by a freshman in Conference USA history. He is the second Golden Eagles freshman to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.  The winner of the Conerly Trophy, named for former quarterback Charlie Conerly, a Clarksdale native who starred for Ole Miss and the New York Giants, is awarded by a panel of 60 Mississippi media representatives. It was first awarded to Delta State running back Treg Thomas in 1996. Cellular South sponsors the award.

 

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago
    Blog
    • Freeze, Saban Preview Saturday's SEC Showdown

      Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and Alabama head coach Nick Saban on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's much-anticipated matchup. For the full SEC teleconference, go here. Alabama head coach Nick Saban (starts at 36:16 mark)... read more

    • Striking The Right Balance Offensively

      Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss has been held under 100 yards rushing in each of its last meetings with Alabama, a 33-14 loss in 2012 and a 25-0 loss in 2013. Running the ball effectively and finding a balance is one area, the... read more

    • 3 Things About Gameday - Ole Miss vs. Alabama

      Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Sept. 22-28)

      Monday, September 29, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 22-28, 2014Football- No. 10 Ole Miss used a dominant defensive effort to put away Memphis 24-3 on Saturday, setting up one of the biggest games in recent history this coming Saturday against the Alabama... read more

    • PHOTOS: Week-Long Timeline of Powder Blues

      Monday, September 29, 2014 - Football

      1. Tuesday 9/23 at 4PM @CoachHughFreeze reveals the helmets to the @olemissfb team at team meeting. pic.twitter.com/8jpVCvny4p— OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) September 29, 2014 2. Wed 9/24 at 4PM @OleMissFB practice hidden indoors so that team practice in helmets for safety reasons. pic.twitter.com/vA0Oo6Ps7S— OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) September... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House

      Sunday, September 28, 2014 - Athletics

      It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. I'll handle the bulk of the notes this week, but we also have some insight from Austin Miller here as well. Let's... read more

    • Upset Bid Falls Short Against No. 10 A&M

      Sunday, September 28, 2014 - Soccer

      Seeking its first win over a top-10 team since 2009, Ole Miss took a 1-0 lead but fell short to No. 10 Texas A&M, 2-1, Sunday afternoon. "I'm really happy with the team's performance," head coach Matt Mott said. "I'm... read more

    • Defense Honors Mullins with Dominant Effort

      Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Football

      Wearing the lighter blue helmets for the first time since 1994 to honor the late Chucky Mullins, the Ole Miss defense also honored his memory with perhaps the most dominant defensive performance of the Hugh Freeze Era. "Chucky would have... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-Memphis Motivational

      Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs Memphis: Official Team Motivational from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Memphis

      Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 10 Ole Miss faces Memphis Saturday. Battle of the Quarterbacks Ole Miss and Memphis have both gotten steady quarterback play, as both teams rank inside the top-15 nationally in scoring offense.  Senior quarterback Bo... read more

    • Rebels Rebound with Hard-Fought Draw

      Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Soccer

      Playing in their fourth overtime game of the season, the Ole Miss soccer team played Arkansas to a 1-1 double-overtime draw on Thursday night.  The teams combined for 30 shots, including 13 on goal, but the game was characterized more... read more

    • 3 Things About Gameday - Ole Miss vs. Memphis

      Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Freeze Stresses Focus, Attention Ahead of Memphis

      Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's time on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of the Rebels' matchup with Memphis on Saturday (6:30 p.m. CT, Fox Sports Net). Freeze's time on the call begins at the 1:21:20 mark. For... read more

    • Memphis Not Fazed by Big Stage

      Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - Football

      Memphis is 2-1 heading into Saturday's matchup with wins over Austin Peay (63-0) and Middle Tennessee (36-17) and a 42-35 loss at No. 11 UCLA. The Tigers scored two early fourth-quarter touchdowns to tie the Bruins at 35-35 with 13:44... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Sept. 15-21)

      Monday, September 22, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 15-21, 2014Volleyball- Ole Miss went 4-0 to capture the Rebel Classic and improve to 14-0 on the season.- Through four weeks of the season, the Rebels have equaled last year's win total (14-17).- Sophomore... read more