Shaughnessy, a three-time all-academic selection, is the first Northwestern State player to be named the Southland football student-athlete of the year since Dudley Guice received the honor in 2008. A biology/pre-med major with a 3.69 grade-point average, Shaughnessy was a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete Postgraduate Scholarship and was selected as part of the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Director’s Association Academic All-Star Team. Shaughnessy was also named to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-District Team and was one of eight finalists for the three Academic All-America kicker positions.
A native of Shreveport, La., Shaughnessy received his second consecutive all-conference honor after playing in all 11 games for the Demons in 2012. Shaughnessy ranked 21st nationally in field goals made per game after kicking 14 of 17 field goals on the year with a long of 47 yards. Shaughnessy, who was selected as permanent team captain for the Demon football team this past season by his peers, holds the Northwestern State record with 12 consecutive made field goals.
Seven Southland universities were represented on the all-academic team with Northwestern and Nicholls State recording a conference-best five members. Central Arkansas, McNeese State and Sam Houston State each had three selections, while Lamar and Stephen F. Austin had two members each.
There were six automatic selections on the Southland all-academic team. To be an automatic selection, a student-athlete must be a first-team All-Southland Conference, a Capital One Academic All-District selection by CoSIDA or named to the FCS Athletic Directors Association Academic All-Star Team, which was announced last week before the national championship game.