CONWAY- (UCA) The University of Central Arkansas tied for team honors with 12 student-athletes selected overall and had a league-high nine first-team selections on the 2013 All-Southland Conference Football team announced Wednesday.
The Bears, co-champions in the SLC last season, were led by reigning SLC Offensive Player of the Year Wynrick Smothers, a senior quarterback from Destrehan, La., and last year's Freshman of the Year, defensive end Jonathan Woodard of Brentwood, Tenn.
Both were on the first-team squad, along with junior wide receiver Dezmin Lewis, junior offensive lineman Cole Caruthers, junior placekicker Eddie Camara, senior defensive lineman Matt Hornbuckle, senior linebacker Justin Heard and senior defensive back Radarius Winston.
Second-team selections were senior offensive lineman Dominque Allen, sophomore offensive lineman Kyle Stouffer and senior defensive back Marcus Peters.
The Bears claimed four of the seven postseason SLC honors after the 2012 season, including a second Coach of the Year award for Clint Conque. Smothers earned his honor by throwing for 3,103 yards and a league-best 31 touchdowns. Woodard led the Bears in sacks (7.0) and fumbles recovered (3) and was second on the team in tackles for loss (11.0) as a redshirt freshman.
Camara, from Cedar Hill, Texas, was the most efficient kicker in the SLC, connecting on 86.7 percent (13 of 15) of his field goal attempts and 98.1 percent (53 of 54) of his point-after kicks. Love, a former SLC Freshman of the Year from West Memphis, is a four-year starter who has 12 career interceptions at UCA.
Caruthers, a 6-foot-4, 292-pound junior from Sugar Land, Texas, was a second-team All-SLC selection last fall. Hornbuckle (6-2, 281), a senior from Colleyville, Texas, was also a second-team pick last season, while Heard, from Woodland, Ala., was an honorable mention pick after leading the Bears with 100 tackles, including 15 for loss.
Winston, a three-year starter from Bastrop, La., had 61 tackles and two interceptions a year ago after returning from injury. Allen, from Houston, was a first-team All-SLC selection in 2011, while Stouffer (6-7, 316), from Highland Park, Texas, earned high marks in his first year as a starter in 2012. Peters, from Daingerfield, Texas, had 36 tackles last season as a junior.