Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace won the Conerly Trophy Tuesday evening at ceremonies held at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Jackson. The award is indicative of the state’s best college football player.
Ole Miss sophomore quarterback Bo Wallace won the Conerly Trophy Tuesday night indicative of the state's top college football player.
Wallace bested Mississippi State cornerback Johnathan Banks and Southern Miss defensive lineman Jamie Collins, Jackson State wide receiver Ricardo Richardson and Delta State offensive lineman Kendall Hunter for the award.
A panel of more than 50 media members across the state selected the finalists and the winner from among 10 nominees from each of Mississippi's football-playing four year colleges.
"We're very pleased with the caliber of players selected as nominees and finalists for the Conerly Trophy," Jim Richmond, vice president for award sponsor C-Spire Wireless said. "This has been a very strong year in terms of individual and overall performance and leadership among all of the schools who submitted nominees for the award. Our winner is not only a great football player, but an outstanding young man with good character, a strong record of community involvement and a terrific work ethic."
The sophomore from Pulaski, Tenn., is the fourth Ole Miss player to win the coveted award, named in honor of former Rebel quarterback Charlie Conerly. Previous Ole Miss winners include quarterback Stewart Patridge (1997), quarterback Eli Manning (2001, 2003), running back Deuce McAllister (1999) and linebacker Patrick Willis (2006).
"Coach Freeze and our coaching staff spent a lot of time and effort getting everyone on our team to buy in to their long-term vision and plan for our program this year," Wallace said. "It paid off as we have one of the most exciting teams in college football with tremendous momentum to build on this year's success on into the future."
With his five touchdowns and 334 yards of total offense in the Egg Bowl, Wallace joined elite company in the school's single-season record books.
He also inched closer to numbers that would put him in uncharted waters.
First things first, with his second completion of the game, Wallace joined Eli Manning and Stewart Patridge as the only Ole Miss quarterbacks to complete at least 200 passes in a single season.
Manning did it in each of his three seasons as a starter (01-03) and Patridge did it in one season (97). Wallace now has 213 completions with one game to play.
Wallace sits third on the single season records list for completion percentage. Stewart Patridge has the top spot with 64.8(97) with Eli in second with 63.5(01). Wallace stands just a fraction behind Manning with 63.4 on the season.
In the passing yards department, Wallace's 2,843 yards puts him just 157 yards shy of becoming the second Ole Miss quarterback to eclipse the 3,000-yard mark. Eli Manning accomplished the feat
Look out for a possible change at the top in the next two categories. A good game from Wallace in the bowl game could land him with record-setting numbers.
With his five touchdowns versus Mississippi State, Wallace, now with 28 total, passed Archie Manning's 1969 total touchdown mark of 23 giving him sole possession of fifth place all-time. Eli Manning holds the record with 32 just four more than Wallace. Remember, these scores can come in the air or on the ground.
Perhaps the most impressive stat is his total yards mark. Wallace has passed Eli Manning's sophomore season total (2,948) for third place all time with 3,231 yards. He will enter the bowl game just 50 yards shy of Eli Manning's junior season mark of 3,281 and 341 yards behind Manning's record setting senior season total of 3,572.
Wallace's numbers, for the most part, have not been the topic of many conversations, but a solid bowl game performance could change that. The question likely to surface with his success is whether or not his statistical boom is simply a product of the spread offense. In Eli Manning's three seasons as the Rebel starter, he averaged 443 pass attempts per year. Bo Wallace will enter the bowl game having thrown 336 passes in 2012.
***Webb Lewis, David Johnson and Ole Miss sports information contributed to this report.
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