JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi State's Jeffery Simmons won the Conerly Trophy on Tuesday night after being an anchor in the middle of one of the nation's best defenses.
The Conerly is awarded to Mississippi's top college football player, and past winners include current and former NFL stars like Eli Manning, Deuce McAllister, Patrick Willis and Dak Prescott. Simmons beat out three other finalists on Tuesday: Ole Miss receiver A.J. Brown, Southern Mississippi receiver Quez Watkins and Alcorn State quarterback Noah Johnson.
The 6-foot-4, 300-pound defensive tackle became the first defensive player to win the award since Mississippi State linebacker Chris White in 2010.
Simmons faced double teams all season that sometimes limited his production. He said he was honored that the fans and media who voted on the award still recognized his ability to change games.