NATCHITOCHES — Outland Trophy semifinalist Marcus Spears, a two-time All-America offensive tackle who played 12 seasons in the NFL, was the Demon Great of the Game when Northwestern State played Sam Houston State on Saturday afternoon at Turpin Stadium.

Spears joined Jerry Rice as the only FCS players ever voted to the Football Writers Association of America All-America team, winning the honor after his senior season in 1993. Being one of the five offensive linemen on the 24-man FWAA All-America team made him one of nine semifinalists for the Outland Trophy, presented annually to the best lineman (offensive or defensive) in college football.

Spears was a second-round 1994 NFL draft pick (39th overall) of the Chicago Bears. He also played for Kansas City, Houston and Cleveland in his pro career. He was one of a handful of players chosen by the NFL to speak to drafted rookies at the league’s annual rookie symposium.

The Baton Rouge native was a three-time All-Southland Conference first-team selection who was a consensus FCS (then Division I-AA) All-America pick in each of his final two seasons at Northwestern.

Demons coach Sam Goodwin signed Spears, even he’d only played football in his senior season at Belaire High School.

All-America cornerback and NFL veteran David Pittman was the Demon Great of the Game spotlighted for the Homecoming contest Oct. 27 against Nicholls State. Three-time all-conference halfback Glenn Talbert was spotlighted as the Demon Great of the Game for the Oct. 6 game against Lamar.

Quarterback Craig Nall, who had the most spectacular season passing performance in school history before an eight-year NFL career, was the Demon Great of the Game for the Sept. 22 Mississippi Valley State contest in the second home game of 2012. Running back Sidney “Thundering Bull” Thornton, who broke NSU’s career rushing record from 1973-76, was the inaugural Demon Great of the Game for the Sept. 8 home opener.

The Demon Great of the Game, presented by Exchange Bank and Trust of Natchitoches, spotlights some of the most outstanding performers in the 105-year history of NSU football. Exchange Bank has been a key supporter of NSU Athletics throughout its long history as the oldest financial institution in Natchitoches.