Eight Aggies Named To Phil Steele All-Sun Belt Teams

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

CLEVELAND, OH - The New Mexico State football team was represented well in the recent release of the Phil Steele All-Sun Belt Conference team honors Wednesday morning. A total of eight Aggies earned first, second or third-team honors with three of the eight earning first-team accolades.

Offensively, Jaleel Scott led the trio of winners from that side of the ball with first-team honors after finishing the regular-season in a tie for the league lead in touchdowns with eight. The 6-6 wide receiver also led the league with 73 receptions and was second in receiving yards (1,042) – which ranked 18th in the nation. Scott also earned 1st Team All-Sun Belt honors.

Larry Rose III was named to the Phil Steele All-Sun Belt Second Team, to add to his second-team honors from the SBC on Dec. 6. Rose capped off his senior season second in the conference with nine rushing touchdowns and 807 rushing yards to finish in fifth.

Tyler Rogers completed the Aggie winners on offense with third-team honors. Rogers led the Sun Belt with 3,825 passing yards and finished third with 26 touchdowns. The Peoria, Ariz., native capped off the regular-season ranked second in completions per game (29.0), fifth in passing yards (3,825), second in passing yards per game (347.7), 16th in touchdowns (26) and sixth in total offense (348.1).

On the defensive side of the ball defensive end Cedric Wilcots II and linebacker Dalton Herrington earned Phil Steele All-Sun Belt First-Team honors to go along with their SBC First-Team honors. Wilcots earned a pair of Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week honors and recorded 8.5 sacks on the season, good for second in the conference, to go along with three forced fumbles and six pass breakups. The Dallas, Texas, product’s 0.71 sacks per game ties him for 16th in the country as well.

Herrington led the Sun Belt in tackles with 124, which included 15 for loss and 5.5 sacks. His 124 total tackles is 10th-most in the country amongst Football Bowl Subdivision players. Aside from leading the conference in tackles, the Halletsville, Texas native also added one interception on the year.

The second-team saw Terrill Hanks and Shamad Lomax earn the honor. Hanks finished fifth in the Sun Belt with 100 tackles with 13.0 for loss which was good for sixth. The linebacker also wrapped up the regular season in fourth in sack with four en route to leading the Aggies to a program single-season record for sacks with 41.

Lomax completed the 2017 season tied for second in the SBC with four interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, and led the conference with four forced fumbles. His three fumble recoveries also topped the league and tied for fourth in the nation while his four picks ties him for 23rd nationally.

Ron LaForce, coming off of All-Sun Belt Second-Team honors earned the third-team nod from Phil Steele. LaForce began his NM State career with a pair of interceptions against in-state rival New Mexico, which earned the defensive back player of the week honors following the debut. The junior finished his first campaign in the Crimson & White with 98 tackles and three picks, which earned him Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year accolades. He is the third Aggie to earn such distinction and first since Terrill Hanks (2015) and Aubrey Dorisme (2003).

New Mexico State is heading to the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl on Friday, Dec. 29, at 3:30 p.m. MT to take on Utah State at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Ariz.