David McCollum’s story – UCA football: Bears gain maturity in defensive line
The defensive end position in the last decade has produced three NFL-caliber players – even though none of them are currently on any rosters. Last year’s team produced a pretty solid rotation of players, even after the loss of Trey Lippe. The ends totalled 15.5 sacks. Jermayne Lett saved his best season for last and lived in the backfield and had a team-leading 17.5 tackles for loss.
Three key players are returning, but some younger guys (or transfers we don’t know about?) will needed to step up and add not just depth but important playing time. David’s article suggests that redshirt freshman Jonathan Woodard could be one of those. There are plenty of candidates. We’ll have to wait until the fall to find out who takes over those roles.
- Markeith Gaines is a high motor guy who seems to always be around the quarterback. He is also prone to making a few bad decisions once he gets to the quarterback. He doesn’t have the length of others on the roster, but he certainly has the speed, strength and quickness to make a larger impact this season. The guy has some seriously big arms.
- Jeremy Jester successfully made the transition to defensive end from tight end last season and finished the season with his best game against Montana.
- Joe Carmical played in all 13 games after transferring in from Texas Tech. Finished with eight tackles and one sack.
- Matthew Pearce received some PT last season but didn’t register any statistics.
- Jermayne Lett – started 7 games, played in all 13. Really dominated the final 8 games. Was especially good in the final game against Montana (11 tackles). Led the team in tfl and sacks. Lett was the only senior defensive lineman.
- Devin Hawkins – fit the physical mold of a Jacob Ford or Markell Carter. He started strong, but his production on the stat sheet tailed off, finishing with just six total tackles in the final six games of the season.
- Trey Lippe – one of two seniors suspended for the rest of the season after the fourth game of the year.
Current Roster Additions:
- #50 Tony Winslow DE 6-3 231 Fr. Kingwood, Texas / Kingwood
- #54 Eric Smith DE 6-0 243 Fr.
- #79 Tony Truong DL 6-2 236 Fr. Corrollton, Texas / Creekview
- #90 Jonathan Woodard DE 6-5 251 R-Fr. Brentwood, Tenn. / Ravenwood
- #92 Derek Floyd DE 6-2 241 Fr. Dallas, Texas
- #95 Bailey McIver DL 6-4 241 Fr. Sheridan, Ark. / Sheridan
- Beau Digby DE 6-2 226 Fr. Little Rock, Ark. / Joe T. Robinson
Note: Truong and McIver are listed at DL on the ucasports.com roster. Based on their size right now, I’m adding them to this list. The plan may be for both to come in, redshirt and then play the interior.