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Charlie Conerly
Jersey #(s)
Born September 19, 1921(1921-09-19)
Clarksdale, Mississippi
Died February 13, 1996 (aged 74)
Memphis, Tennessee
Career information
Year(s) 19481961
NFL Draft 1945 / Round: 13 / Pick: 127
College Mississippi
Professional teams
Career stats
TD-INT 173-167
Yards 19,488
QB Rating 68.2
Stats at
Career highlights and awards
1947 Ole Miss media guide featuring Charlie Conerly (left) and coach Johnny Vaught (right).

Charles Albert Conerly, Jr. (September 19, 1921 – February 13, 1996) was an American football quarterback in the National Football League for the New York Giants from 1948 through 1961. Conerly was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1966.


College career

Conerly attended and played college football at the University of Mississippi. He originally started at Mississippi in 1942, but left to serve as a Marine in the South Pacific during World War II where he fought in the Battle of Guam.[1][2] He returned to Mississippi in 1946 and led the team to their first Southeastern Conference championship in 1947.[2] During that season, he led the nation in pass completions with 133, rushed for nine touchdowns and passed for 18 more, was a consensus All-America selection, and was named Player of the Year by the Helms Athletic Foundation.[2]

Conerly lettered at Ole Miss in 1942 and 1946-47. He was considered one of the greatest players in Ole Miss football history. He played the tailback position for the Rebels, but handled all of the passing chores. He earned consensus All-America in 1947 when he led the Rebels to a record of 9-2 including a 13-9 win over TCU in the Delta Bowl in Crump Stadium in Memphis, TN. Conerly's 1947 squad had upset wins over Kentucky (14-7 in Oxford), Florida (14-6 in Jacksonville, FL), LSU (20-18 in Baton Rouge), and Tennessee (43-13 in Memphis). He placed fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting and was a two-time All SEC performer. He was named Player of the Year and Back of the Year of the SEC in 1947.

He set numerous school records and still ranked 12th in 2008 in career total offense with 3,076 yards. He was ranked 12th in career passing with 2,313 yards and 26 TDs.

Conerly also played baseball at Mississippi, where he hit .467 in 1948 and was offered a professional contract.[2]

He was inducted into the Ole Miss Athletic Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1966. Conerly is also a member of the Ole Miss Team of the Century (1893-1992).

Professional career

Conerly was drafted in the eleventh round of the 1945 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He played his entire career with the New York Giants as a quarterback, where he was a two-time Pro Bowl selection in 1950 and 1956 and was NFL's Most Valuable Player in 1959 by the Newspaper Enterprise Association .[2]

Conerly was named NFL "Rookie of the Year" in 1948.

He led the Giants to three NFL Championship games in four seasons (1956,1958-59), including a 47-7 victory over the Chicago Bears in the 1956 NFL Championship.

He also portrayed the "Marlboro Man" in commercials while playing for the Giants.

After football

Conerly and his wife Perian (author of the book, Backseat Quarterback) retired to his hometown of Clarksdale, Mississippi, where he spent his final days. Conerly owned shoe stores throughout the Mississippi Delta.

Conerly is the namesake of the football award, the Conerly Trophy, given annually to the top college player in the State of Mississippi.

Conerly Trophy

Conerly Trophy
Awarded for the best college football player in the state of Mississippi
Presented by Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame
Country United States
Location Mississippi
First awarded 1996
Currently held by Juan Joseph, Millsaps College QB
Official Website

The Conerly Trophy or Cellular South Conerly Trophy is an award given annually to the best college football player in the state of Mississippi by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame[3].



Sixty media representatives from across Mississippi determine the Trophy recipient. All players at Mississippi's four-year college football programs are eligible on the first ballot. The top three vote-getters are listed in a second and final ballot.

Voters are instructed to evaluate a player's entire regular season performance and ignore post-season honors or professional potential.

The trophy

The Conerly Trophy is a bronze casting, 19" high x 11" long x 7.5" wide, weighing 18.5 lbs. (8.4 kg). The original trophy is on permanent display at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. A replica of the trophy is presented to the winner each year at the announcement dinner.


The award was begun in 1996. Cellular South has sponsored since 1998, with a contract that extends to June 2010. Previous presentations have been held in Jackson, Clarksdale, Tunica and Biloxi.

Winners and finalists

1996: Tregnel Thomas (Delta State University, running back)

1997: Stewart Patridge (University of Mississippi, quarterback)

1998: J. J. Johnson (Mississippi State University, running back)

1999: Deuce McAllister (University of Mississippi, running back)

2000: Josh Bright (Delta State University, quarterback)

2001: Eli Manning (University of Mississippi, quarterback)

2002: Rod Davis (University of Southern Mississippi, linebacker)

2003: Eli Manning (University of Mississippi, quarterback)

2004: Michael Boley (University of Southern Mississippi, linebacker)

2005: Jerious Norwood (Mississippi State University, running back)

2006: Patrick Willis (University of Mississippi, linebacker)

2007: Damion Fletcher (University of Southern Mississippi, running back)

2008: Juan Joseph (Millsaps College, quarterback)

2009: Anthony Dixon (Mississippi State University, running back)

See also


  1. ^ Bowden (2008), p.112.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Charlie Conerly's College HOF Profile". College Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2008-08-12.  
  3. ^ "Cellular South Outstanding Player Awards". Cellular South Outstanding Player Awards. Retrieved 2009-08-05.  


  • The Best Game Ever: Giants vs. Colts, 1958, and the Birth of the Modern NFL (2008; ISBN 0-87113-988-X)

External links


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