Ole Miss guard Devontae Shuler, forward Shakira Austin and wide receiver Elijah Moore won the 2021 C Spire Howell, Gillom and Ferris trophies Monday while Mississippi State outfielder Tanner Allen secured the C Spire Ferris Trophy. The awards annually honor the state’s top college players in men’s and womens basketball, football and baseball.
The awards program, which is co-sponsored by C Spire and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, was moved from a live program to a virtual online format at msfame.com after an ongoing public health crisis caused some college sports to be discontinued and others to be rescheduled earlier this year due to health restrictions and concerns.
Shuler, who finished with 15.3 points a game, 90 assists and 43 steals along the way to securing 1st team All-SEC honors, edged out Mississippi State guard D. J. Stewart Jr. for the C Spire Howell Trophy. Jackson State guard Tristan Jarrett won the fan voting segment last week, which counts for 10% of the award total.
Austin, who finished in the top 10 in scoring (18.6 ppg) and rebounding (9.4 rpg) on the way to 1st team All-SEC honors, led the Lady Rebels and made 51.9% of her shots from the field. She finished ahead of Jackson State guard Dayzsha Rogan for the C Spire Gillom Trophy. Rogan earlier won the fan voting portion of the award.
Moore, who was selected by the New York Jets in the second round of the NFL draft in April, had 86 receptions, 1,193 yards receiving and eight touchdowns in a shortened SEC-only schedule. He outpolled the other finalist, MSU cornerback Emmanuel Forbes, for the C Spire Conerly Trophy. Mississippi Valley State linebacker Jerry Garner won the fan voting segment.
Allen, who finished in the top 10 in batting (.388 average), slugging percentage (.628), and runs batted in (48), won the C Spire Ferriss Trophy, beating the other finalist, Ole Miss pitcher Doug Nikhazy, for the award. He also won the fan voting segment and will lead the Bulldogs when they open in the SEC tournament on Wednesday.
Ole Miss offensive lineman Royce Newman also was selected as the 2021 recipient of the Entergy Hull Trophy as the state’s top college football offensive lineman. Newman was drafted in the fourth round last month by the NFL’s Green Bay Packers.
All winners are selected by a combination of ballots cast by Mississippi sports journalists, Major League baseball scouts, coaches, which counts for 90 percent of the award, and online voting by fans, which counts for a weighted 10 percent of the vote total. The C Spire Outstanding Player Awards program is available online to watch at www.msfame.com/csopa.
The awards are named after some Mississippi sports legends, including former college and NFL star Charlie Conerly, Boston Celtics basketball great Bailey Howell, Ole Miss’ best all-round women’s basketball player Peggy Gillom-Granderson and long-time coach and former college and Major League Baseball star Dave “Boo” Ferriss. All four have storied college and professional careers in football, baseball and basketball.