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Davis Named Finalist For Conerly Trophy

Davis Named Finalist For Conerly Trophy

HATTIESBURG, Miss. ? Rod Davis, a two-time semifinalist for the Butkus Award, a two-time All-American and last year's recipient of the Conerly Trophy, was named one of three finalists for the 2003 Conerly Trophy, given to the top player in the state of Mississippi.

The other finalists are Eli Manning, a junior quarterback from Ole Miss who won the award in 2001, and Scott Eyster, a freshman quarterback from Delta State. These finalists were selected by a statewide panel of 60 media members, who represent radio, television and print outlets in small, medium and large markets throughout the state of Mississippi.

Each voter votes twice. In the first ballot, voters select the three players they think are the top candidates for college player of the year honors in the state. Those votes are tabulated and the voters cast a second ballot from among the top vote-getters. All the finalists are presented Thurs., Dec. 4, at the Bayview Hotel in Biloxi, Miss., where the winner will be announced at the 7 p.m. dinner.

Davis leads Southern Miss in tackles (148), solo tackles (103), forced fumbles (4) and is second in tackles for loss (17.0). He also has registered three sacks, three pass breakups, 11 quarterback hurries and one fumble recovery. He currently is ranked No. 2 in Conference USA in tackles, No. 1 in solo tackles and fourth in tackles for loss and tied for first in fumbles forced.

Davis has registered double-figure tackles in every game this year except for two and had a career-high 22 tackles at Cincinnati. He also had 20 tackles against TCU and a season-high four tackles for loss at Cincinnati and at Houston.

A total of 17 players from six schools received votes for the 2003 Conerly Trophy presented by Cellular South. In addition to the three finalists, they are (in alphabetical order), Dustin Almond (USM QB), Michael Boley (USM LB), Chris Collins (OM WR), Ellis Debrow (DSU WR),Justin Jenkins (MSU WR), Tommy Kelly (MSU DL), Robert Kent (JSU QB),Jonathan Nichols (OM PK), Matt O'Bryant (Millsaps LB),Etric Pruitt (USM DB), Justin Wade (OM LB), David Yates (DSU ),Marvin Young (USM WR) and Brian Zbydniewski (BELHAVEN QB).

CBS College Football analyst and former collegiate standout, Spencer Tillman, will be the keynote speaker.


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