Ole Miss’ Brown leads list of Conerly finalists

Published 4:00 pm Monday, November 19, 2018

JACKSON — When the NFL draft rolls around in April, Ole Miss wide receiver A.J. Brown might be one of the best players available.

Before then, he’s got a chance to cement his legacy as one of the best of all time in Mississippi.
Brown on Monday was named one of 10 finalists named for the C-Spire Conerly Trophy, given annually to the top college football player in Mississippi.

One finalist from each of Mississippi’s 10 football-playing colleges was selected. The award will be presented in a ceremony at the Country Club of Jackson on Nov. 27 at 6:30 p.m.

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The winner is selected by a combination of media balloting and fan voting at cspire.com/Conerly. The fan voting is open until noon on Sunday.

Brown won the Conerly Trophy in 2017 and could join quarterbacks Eli Manning of Ole Miss and Dak Prescott of Mississippi State as the only two-time winners.

A junior out of Starkville, Brown is the all-time leader in career receiving yardage at Ole Miss with 2,923 yards. He has 12 100-yard receiving games, also a program record.

Brown has amassed 1,259 yards so far this season, breaking his own single-season school record of 1,252 set in 2017. He’s the only player in Ole Miss history with two 1,000-yard seasons to his name. He is also one reception shy of the all-time single-season mark of 82, set by Laquon Treadwell in 2015, heading into Thursday’s season-ending Egg Bowl against Mississippi State.

Brown has another year of eligibility left, but is widely viewed as a first-round pick if he opts to enter the 2019 NFL draft.

He is a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award and was a semifinalist for the same honor in 2017. He is also on the Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award watch lists.

The other finalists for the Conerly Trophy are Mississippi State defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons; Southern Miss wide receiver Quez Watkins; Mississippi Valley State receiver/running back Booker Chambers; Alcorn State quarterback Noah Johnson; Delta State quarterback Patrick Shegog; Jackson State punter and kicker Christian Jacquemin; Millsaps linebacker Chandler Coleman; Mississippi College running back Tiberias Lampkin; and Belhaven linebacker Denarrius Noel.

Noel is a native of Utica who played at the now-closed Hinds AHS. The three-year starter had 70 tackles for Belhaven this season, with 2 1/2 sacks and 10 1/2 tackles for loss. He also recorded a team-high 3.80 GPA.