Deese became the first male student-athlete at UNCP since 2006 to garner such honors and joins women’s soccer’s Sam Dunn in earning the accolade during current academic year. Deese, an exercise and sports science major at UNCP and is one of 22 seniors on the football squad that will play their final home game at Grace P. Johnson Stadium on Saturday.
Deese is part of the original group of football players at UNCP, having attended the first meeting in August, 2006. The following two semesters were spent on the practice field as the inaugural intercollegiate football game for the Braves did not come until more than a year later at Davidson.
Deese has played in 41 games over his career in Pembroke and has registered a program-best 245 career tackles. He currently holds seven school defensive records including five career marks, as well as the single season benchmark for forced fumbles (3) and fumbles recovered (3). Deese is also UNCP's career leader in total tackles (245), solo tackles (125), assisted tackles (120), forced fumbles (7) and fumbles recovered (8). He also holds UNCP’s individual record for defensive touchdowns, scoring on both an interception and a fumble recovery in 2010.
As a result of Deese’s nomination to the first team, his nomination will now advance to the national ballot where he will have an opportunity to be nominated for ESPN The Magazine's Academic All-American team. Only paying members of CoSIDA were able to vote at the district level and determine the first-team all-district selections. At the national level, only members of the Academic All-America committee and the CoSIDA board of directors will be able to vote to determine the Academic All-America teams.
The voting period for the national ballot began on Tuesday and will end on November 16. The ESPN The Magazine’s Academic All-America Team for football will be released on November 22.
This season, the UNCP football team currently sits at 5-4 overall, with big time wins over rival Fayetteville State and Carson-Newman.
Deese and the UNCP defense are allowing just 15.6 points a game this season while holding opposing offenses to just over 250 total yards per game.
With Deese anchoring the defense, the Braves have totaled 32 sacks this season, while opponents have converted just 32 percent of their third down conversions against UNCP this year.
Deese currently leads the Braves in total tackles with 70 take downs.
Deese has assisted on 33 tackles, while leading UNCP with 37 solo tackles. Deese’s mark of 70 tackles puts him 22 ahead of any other Brave on the roster this year.
Deese has 5.5 tackles for loss, including one sack for a loss of six yards.
The former Fighting Scot has also helped his offense out this season, returning a 43-yard interception and a 91-yard fumble for touchdowns in games this season.
Deese also recorded a pass defended and a quarterback hit for UNCP.
Deese has recorded three games with double digit tackles this season. Deese had his season-high come in a 28-14 win against Glenville State, where the linebacker had 13 total tackles, including nine unassisted take downs.
The Braves will next be in action today as they take on North Greenville in their final game of the regular season.
The Braves have lost two straight games, but last season downed North Greenville on the road 42-14.
With a win, the Braves would ensure their third consecutive winning season after going 9-1 and 9-2 over the previous two years under head coach Pete Shinnick.