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Cooley, Shaw and 12 Statesmen claim GSC honors

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WTVA/DSU Athletics) — The Gulf South Conference released the 2014 All-Conference Football teams and top honorees on Wednesday with Delta State University Head Coach Todd Cooley and freshman Trey Shaw claiming two of the League's top awards while placing 12 players on the All-GSC squads. DSU had six players named to the All-GSC First-Team and mirrored the number on the Second-Team.

Cooley was named the GSC Co-Coach of the Year along with Florida Tech's Steve Englehart. Cooley celebrated his second season at DSU by claiming his second honor in a row after taking home outright accolades in 2013. He guided the Statesmen back to the top of the GSC for the first time since 2011 as DSU shared the 2014 Title with North Alabama. Delta State leads the Conference heading into the NCAA post-season after earning the No. 2 seed and a First-Round bye.

Shaw garnered the GSC Defensive Freshman of the Year honor. Shaw is DSU's third defensive freshman winner and second defensive back winner since Dominique Davenport in 2008. The Oxford, Mississippi, native completed the regular season with 21 total tackles in just seven games, including one for a loss. He was also involved in four takeaways, nabbing two interceptions and forcing two fumbles.

Senior linebacker Rory Island, junior receiver Casey Osborne, junior defensive back Richard Nash, Junior defensive lineman Randall Boyd, sophomore linebacker Wilson Curtis and offensive lineman Michael Gibbs were named to the All-GSC First-Team.

Island becomes just the fourth Statesmen and the 48th player in GSC history to be named All GSC First-Team three times. Chris Booker (2000, 2001, 2002), Michael Eubanks (2005, 2006, 2007) and Sam Killingworth (1977, 1978, 1979) were the previous Statesmen to accomplish the feat. Osborne and Nash move up to the First-Team after being named to the Second-Team in 2013 and 2012, respectively, while Boyd and Gibbs are first-time honorees

Sophomore quarterback Tyler Sullivan, senior receiver Rickey Hunt, junior receiver Justin Leavy, sophomore defensive back Romelo Wilson and junior offensive linemen Collin Stubblefield and Mose Countryman make up DSU's six Second-Team members.

Sullivan, who was named GSC Freshman Offensive Player of the Year in 2013, makes his way on the All-GSC Second-Team for the second straight year while Hunt earns his second All-Conference laurel. Stubblefield, Leavy, Countryman and Wilson earn their first All-Conference accolades.

The Statesmen have enjoyed a banner year on offense and defense. DSU leads the GSC in scoring (46.4 pts./gm.), total offense (500.2 yds./gm.) and passing (337.1 yds./gm.). Defensively, DSU ranks first in rush defense (120.2 yds./gm.), red zone defense (59.4 percent), tackles for loss (13.0/gm.) and second in sacks (3.10/gm.). Nationally, the Green and White are third in scoring, eighth in passing and 11th in total offense and rank first in tackles for loss, seventh in sacks and turnovers gained and 32nd in rush defense.

Delta State claimed a share of its seventh Gulf South Conference title, finishing 9-1 overall and 6-1 in conference play. The 10th ranked Statesmen will host the winner of No. 3 Tuskegee/No. 6 West Georgia in the second round of the NCAA Division II Playoffs on Saturday, Nov. 29th at 12 p.m.

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