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Davis Wins Conerly Trophy, "Mississippi's Heisman"

Davis Wins Conerly Trophy, "Mississippi's Heisman"

Hattiesburg, Miss. - Rod Davis received the 2002 Conerly Trophy, this evening 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.

Davis, a first-team All-Conference USA member for the second year in a row, 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 Collins (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).

Southern Miss finished the regular season with a 7-5 record, earning a spot in the Houston Bowl, on Dec. 27, at noon. Tickets can be order by calling the Southern Miss Ticket Office at 1-800-844-TICK or online at

The Golden Eagle's opponent in the Houston Bowl will be a member of the Big 12 Conference and will be determined this weekend. The Houston Bowl will be televised on ESPN.

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