By Robert Wilson
Ole Miss freshman running back Quinshon Judkins broke two 73-year-old school records when he gained 1,476 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns this season.
And Tuesday night, Judkins joined other Ole Miss greats by winning the 2022 C Spire Conerly Trophy, presented to the best college football player in Mississippi.
The 5-foot-11, 220-pound Judkins beat out finalists defensive back Emmanuel Forbes, Jr., of Mississippi State and quarterback Shedeur Sanders of Jackson State for the award.
The ceremony was live streamed virtually due to the weather. It was scheduled to be at the Country Club of Jackson in Northeast Jackson.
This is the third consecutive season an Ole Miss player has won the award. Quarterback Matt Corral and wide receiver Elijah Moore won it the last two years. It was also the fifth time in the past seven years an Ole Miss player has won it. Wide receiver AJ Brown won it in 2017 and tight end Evan Ingram in 2016.
Named after College Football Hall of Famer and Ole Miss legend Charlie Conerly, the Conerly Trophy was started in 1996. The trophy has now been awarded to an Ole Miss player 11 times, the most by any school. Other past winners were Stewart Patridge (1997), Deuce McAllister (1999), Eli Manning (2001, 2003), Patrick Willis (2006), and Bo Wallace (2012).
Judkins broke Kayo Dottley’s 1949 school record for rushing yards in a single season and Dottley’s 1949 mark for rushing TDs. Several other players – Archie Manning, Deuce McAllister and Brandon Bolden – had tied the record since then.
Judkins, a semifinalist for Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year, also leads the SEC and ranks top 10 nationally in total touchdowns (17) and rushing yards per game (123.0).
Judkins, from Pike Road, Ala., was the leading running back in a rushing offense, which leads the SEC and ranks No. 3 nationally in rushing yards per game (261.6 ypg). With a bowl game still yet to be played, Ole Miss has already broken its single-season school record in rushing yards (3,139), previously set in 1957.
Judkins is having one of the greatest seasons ever by an SEC freshman running back. He currently ranks third all-time amongst conference freshmen in rushing yards, behind only Herschel Walker (1,616 yds, Georgia, 1980) and Nick Chubb (1,547, Georgia, 2014). The five-time SEC Freshman of the Week leads all freshmen nationally in rushing yards, rushing yards per game, rushing TDs, all-purpose yards, scoring and total TDs.
“First, I want to thank God, without Him, none of this would be possible,” Judkins said. “I want to thank C Spire and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame for their support in the state. I am honored to receive this award on behalf of Ole Miss, my coaches, and teammates. I would like to thank my offensive line. This award is a testament to their commitment and hard work this season. I would not be here without the love and support of my family.”
Ole Miss offensive lineman Nick Broeker was named the winner of the Kent Hull Trophy, presented to the best collegiate offensive lineman in Mississippi. It is named after Magnolia State native Kent Hull, who spent 11 seasons with the Buffalo Bills, appearing in four straight Super Bowls and three consecutive Pro Bowls.
Broeker is the fourth Rebel to win the Hull Trophy, joining Laremy Tunsil (2014), Fahn Cooper (2015) and Royce Newman (2020).
The Springfield, Illinois, native has started all 12 games for the Rebels at left guard, playing in nearly all offensive snaps (907). Broeker hasn’t allowed a sack in 505 pass blocking snaps and is anchor for an Ole Miss offense that ranks and No. 7 in total offense (491.2).
Broeker is a member of offensive line unit that has helped blocked for a rushing attack that features the only team in the country with two players over 850 yards rushing. Ole Miss is the only FBS team with more than 5,500 yards of total offense, while having more than 3,000 yards rushing.