Jacksonville State University's Athletic Department released the following:
Jacksonville State senior quarterback Eli Jenkins has been selected as the Ohio Valley Conference's Male Co-Athlete of the Year for 2016-17.
Jenkins, a Birmingham native, and Belmont senior basketball forward Evan Bradds each received equal votes from the league's athletics directors and sports information directors. It marks only the second time in the history of the award (which dates back to 1977) that a pair of athletes have shared the honor. The other occurrence was in 1977-78 (track athletes Ray Flynn of ETSU and Rodney Moore of Tennessee Tech).
A season ago, Jenkins became the first Jacksonville State student-athlete to be named OVC Male Athlete of the Year. This year he is only the fifth individual in OVC history to repeat as winner of the award, joining four basketball players in Murray State's Jeff Martin (1987-88, 1988-89) and Popeye Jones (1990-91, 1991-92), Austin Peay's Bubba Wells (1995-96, 1996-97) and UT Martin's Lester Hudson (2007-08, 2008-09).
Jenkins capped his stellar career by leading Jacksonville State to its third-straight OVC Championship in being named OVC Player of the Year for the second-straight season (the first player to accomplish that feat since Tony Romo). Overall JSU finished its third-straight undefeated and untied Conference campaign, making the Gamecocks the first team in OVC history to achieve that accomplishment.
In 2016, he accounted for 3,091 yards of total offense and 24 touchdowns, similar numbers to his junior season when he was named FCS Quarterback of the Year. His 984 rushing yards were the second-most in the OVC during the year and Jenkins finished his career with 3,796 rushing yards, the seventh-most ever by a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) quarterback.
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