NATCHITOCHES - Northwestern State junior linebacker Derek Rose has been chosen as one of 20 finalists for the 2011 Buck Buchanan Award presented by the Sports Network to the nation's top FCS defensive player, joining senior tight end Justin Aldredge and junior kicker John Shaughnessy heading 14 Demons recognized Tuesday on the 2011 All-Southland Conference Football Team.
Aldredge and Shaughnessy were the only NSU players chosen for first-team All-Southland honors by the eight league head coaches and sports information directors from each school. Rose, an All-American and first-team All-SLC last year, was bypassed in the voting for the two first-team linebacking spots.
Joining Rose receiving second-team all-conference honors were junior offensive guard Larry Calcote, junior safety Jamaal White and senior defensive end Ricky Issac.
Eight NSU players received honorable mention recognition. Senior center Zach Case, junior running back D.J. Palmer and junior quarterback Brad Henderson represented the Demons' offense in that group. Defenders honored were senior cornerbacks Jeremy Lane and Cashas Pollard, senior linebacker Lamont Simmons and junior defensive tackle Lesley Deamer.
Rose finished with a team-high 89 tackles, including 12 for lost yards, also tops for the Demons. He forced three fumbles, had an interception and six quarterback hurries, along with a pass breakup.
Aldredge topped NSU in receiving and was by far the top pass-catching tight end in the conference, ranking 10th overall in receiving in the league with 39 grabs for 514 yards and two touchdowns. He also added a 33-yard TD run at tailback.
Shaughnessy nailed 14 of 16 field goals, including his last 12 to set a school record for consecutive made field goals. He hit all 11 in league play and the placement of his kickoffs was a key in the Demons ranking second in the league in kickoff coverage with a net of 41.9 yards.
White repeated as a second-team All-SLC pick after making 59 tackles and a team-leading four interceptions, with 110 return yards. He forced three fumbles and had four pass breakups.
Issac led the Demons' defensive line and was third overall on the team with 63 tackles, topping NSU with 4.5 sacks and ranking second with 9.5 tackles for lost yards. He had seven quarterback hurries and recovered a fumble.
Calcote had three games with grades over 80 percent. Case was the Demons' top-grading offensive lineman, topping the team in six of the eight games he played, coming back from a knee injury at LSU.
Palmer led NSU with 350 rushing yards and was the third-leading receiver on the team with 257 yards on 27 catches, scoring four touchdowns. Henderson completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 1,853 yards and 12 touchdowns with just six interceptions in 289 passes.
Pollard posted 45 tackles and led the team with 11 pass breakups while intercepting three passes. Lane made 42 tackles, had two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and one forced, and three pass breakups.
Deamer recorded 37 tackles and had six quarterback hurries. Simmons finished with 51 tackles, an interception and a 24-yard fumble return for a touchdown on the game's first play against Southeastern Louisiana.
Unbeaten, nationally No. 1 ranked Sam Houston State won four of the top six individual awards with Coach of the Year Willie Fritz, Player of the Year Tim Sanders, Offensive Player of the Year Richard Sincere and defensive player of the year Darnell Taylor. Jordan Wells of Southeastern Louisiana was the Freshman of the Year and Willie Jefferson of Stephen F. Austin won Newcomer of the Year honors.