UCA has 10 Bears named to preseason All-SLC team

From UCA Sports
Steve East, Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations

CONWAY –  Ten University of Central Arkansas football players were named Wednesday to the preseason 2016 All-Southland Conference teams announced by the league office, the second-most selections of any team.

UCA placed four on the first team and another six on the second team. The first-teamers included senior wide receiver Desmond Smith, junior offensive lineman Stockton Mallett, junior cornerback Tremon Smith and junior punt returner Brandon Cox.

The second-team selections included senior tight end/H-back Cody Dauksch, junior defensive back George Odum, senior defensive lineman Terrence Partee and senior Jatavious Wilson at three positions _ wide receiver, all-purpose back and kick returner.

Desmond Smith, a 6-foot-1, 201-pounder receiver from Bentonville, was an first-team All-SLC pick last fall when he led the league in receptions (67) and receptions per game (6.1). He is currently sixth in career receptions at UCA with 156 and tied for seventh in career receiving yards with 1,935. Smith set the school single-game record last season against Stephen F. Austin with 14 receptions.

Mallett, a 6-3, 298-pounder from Harrison and Yellville-Summit High School, was an honorable mention All-SLC selection last fall when he started all 11 games as a sophomore on UCA’s offensive line.

Tremon Smith, a 6-0, 185-pound junior from Anniston, Ala., was a first-team All-SLC selection last fall after tying for the conference lead in interceptions with five. He was UCA’s fourth-leading tackler with 51 stops and broke up a team-high 12 passes.

Cox, a 5-9, 180-pound receiver/punt returner from Conway, was second in the SLC in punt returns a year ago, averaging 12.3 yards per return, including a 93-yarder for a touchdown against Houston Baptist, the second-longest in school history. That return earned Cox the SLC Special Teams Player of the Week award.

Wilson, a 5-9, 171-pound senior receiver/kick returner from Bastrop, La., was an honorable mention All-SLC kick returner in 2015 and first-teamer in 2014. Wilson, UCA’s second-leading receiver a year ago (49 catches, 536 yards, 4 touchdowns) behind Smith, holds the school records for kickoff returns for touchdowns (3), kickoff return yards in a season (1,140) and kickoff returns in a season (46). He is No. 2 in career kickoff return yards (1,721) and returns (65).

Dauksch, a 6-1, 221-pounder from West Memphis, caught six passes for 78 yards, with a long of 56 yards, last season as the Bears’ starting H-back. Partee, a 6-3, 278-pounder from Memphis, Tenn., played in all games at defensive tackle, recording 14 total tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss and 1.0 sacks.

Odum, a 6-2, 185-pound junior from Millington, Tenn., started all 11 games last season and finished as UCA’s No. 3 tackler with 69 total stops, including 43 solos. Odum also had 6.5 tackles for loss and forced and recovered a fumble.

Desmond Smith and Wilson will represent UCA at next week’s Southland Conference Football Media Day at the L’auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles, La.

The Bears, in their third season under head coach Steve Campbell, open the season on Thursday, Sept. 1 when they host the Houston Baptist Huskies in SLC action at First Security Field at Estes Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. on the American Sports Network.

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