Davis Named Finalist For Conerly Trophy
Hattiesburg, Miss. - Rod Davis, a semifinalist for the Butkus Award, was named one of three finalists for the 2002 Conerly Trophy, given to the top player in the state of Mississippi. The other finalists were Eli Manning, a junior quarterback from Ole Miss, and Robert Kent, a senior quarterback from Jackson 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 present on Thursday, Dec. 5, at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum when the winner is announced.
Davis leads Southern Miss in tackles (156), solo tackles (111), sacks (10.5) and tackles for loss (23.0) and is ranked among the nation's best in all three categories, No. 1 in solo tackles, No. 5 in tackles, No. 11 in tackles for loss and No. 20 in sacks. He is averaging 13 tackles a game, one sack a game and two tackles for loss per game. He also has registered two interceptions, two pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He currently leads Conference USA in tackles, solo tackles and sacks and is second in tackles for loss.
Davis has registered double-figure tackles in every game this year except for one and has a season-high 19 tackles against South Florida. He also has registered at least one sack in seven of the 12 games and at least one tackle for loss in every game. He has finished with double-figure tackles in 23 of 34 games in which he has played during his career.
The other 15 players, who received votes as Mississippi's best football player for the 2002 regular season, in addition to the three finalists, are in alphabetical order; Elgin Andrews (Jackson State, LB), Donald Carrie (Alcorn, QB), Ben Claxton (Ole Miss, C), Chris Collinis (Ole Miss, WR), Joseph Crear (Mississippi Valley State, DT), Justin Griffith (MSU, RB), Mario Haggans (MSU, LB), Sam Husband (Belhaven, QB), Josh Morgan (MSU, DB), Derrick Nix (USM, RB); Etric Pruitt (USM, DB) and Eddie Strong (Ole Miss, LB).
Danny White, the former standout quarterback from the Dallas Cowboys, will be the keynote speaker at the event.
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