MSU Secures Trophies for Best Mississippi Player in every Major Sport
With the announcement today from C Spire Inc that Jake Mangum is the recipient of the 2019 Ferris trophy, Mississippi State athletes have officially secured all four of the C Spire-sponsored awards for best athlete in the state of Mississippi for their respective collegiate sports. For each of these awards, athletes from every NCAA-affiliated university is eligible, including MSU, Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Delta State, Alcorn State, Jackson State, Mississippi Valley State and others. In November 2018, junior defensive tackle Jeffrey Simmons received the Conerly trophy, which is designated for the best college football player in the State of Mississippi. The Conerly trophy was named for former Ole Miss and New York Giant quarterback Charles Conerly, and Simmons is the 8th Bulldog to earn the honor since the award was founded in 1996. Simmons recorded 63 total tackles in 2018, including 18 for loss and 2 sacks. He was drafted 19th overall in the 2019 NFL draft by Tennessee. The Howell trophy for best collegiate basketball player in the was won by senior Mississippi State guard Quinndary Weatherspoon, who is the seventh Bulldog to win the award since 2005, when it was awarded for the first time to Mississippi State forward Lawrence Roberts. The award was named after one of the greatest players in MSU and SEC history, Bailey Howell. Weatherspoon earned the honor for the second consecutive year after averaging 18.5 points, 2.8 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals to go along with a shooting percentage of 50.8%, and he is currently entered into the upcoming NBA draft. Senior center for Mississippi State women’s basketball Teaira McCowan took home the Gillom trophy, which is given to Mississippi’s most outstanding women’s basketball player and is named after the Ole Miss all-time leading rebounder and scorer Peggie Gillom-Granderson. McCowan shot 66.2% from the field en route to averaging 18.4 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 2.4 blocked shots per game. McCowan was drafted 3rd overall in the 2019 WNBA draft to tehj Indiana Fever. Senior outfielder Jake Mangum became the first ever two-time winner of the Ferris trophy, which was named after ground-breaking MSU baseball standout Boo Ferris and is bestowed to Mississippi’s best college baseball player every year. Mangum also received the award during his freshman season of 2016. In 2019, Mangum has 95 hits (leads NCAA), 20 doubles, 39 RBI, 21 stolen bases and has a batting average of .375. He also recently set the SEC career hits record, which had previously been set by Eddie Furniss of LSU in 1998.
Mississippi State has become the first school to ever sweep all four of the C Spire superlatives, as MSU athletes have certainly been impressive in the 2018-2019 academic year. Mississippi State athletes also have won the most of all four of these awards since their respective foundings (State holds a tie with Ole Miss for most Conerly Trophies with 8).