Jonathan Woodard, one of Central Arkansas biggest players, had big accomplishments his freshman season.
The 6-foot-5, 271-pound sophomore defensive end from Brentwood, Tenn., was Freshman of the Year in the Southland Conference and a first-team all-conference player. He led the team in sacks with seven and had 11 tackles for loss, even returning a fumble for a touchdown.
What didn’t show up on the football statistics is that Woodard is one of the most articulate of the UCA players and has done a pretty good job in the classroom.
“He was recruited by Cornell, some of the other Ivy League schools and some top institutions in on the East Coast,” said UCA coach Clint Conque. “They backed off a little bit in the process and we were fortunate to get him.
“He has the size and the talent to potentially be playing on Sundays someday. And he’s had an outstanding preseason camp.”
He’s a prized wing man on a defensive front that is expected to be one of the Bears’ strengths this season.
“We are deep in the defensive line and we have good chemistry,” he said. “A lot of us have played a lot of football with each other. We’ve been through some tough games. We know what each other can do.
“I think we have a defense that can help us win games. We have experience, ability, speed and strength. The key will be staying healthy and staying focused. We have good chemistry throughout the defense.”
And the offense?
“It got off to a slow start in preseason but you can see them jelling and I think they will become a force to be reckoned with,” he said.