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Bastrop Daily Enterprise - Bastrop, LA
  • RaDarius Winston collects first-team preaseason honors

  • University of Central Arkansas senior safety RaDarius "Nook" has been chosen to the Southland Conference's preseason all-league team.
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    Senior free safety RaDarius “Nook” Winston of Bastrop was one of nine Central Arkansas Bears selected to the preseason All-Southland Conference football team last week.
    Winston, who sat out last year with an injury, is entering his third season as a starter for the Bears. As a junior in 2011, he was fifth on the team with 59 tackles, plus interceptions vs. Ole Miss and Stephen F. Austin.
    In 32 career games (18 starts), the 5-11, 196-pound Winston has logged 105 tackles with four interceptions and three pass breakups.
    A two-year starter and two-time All-District performer at Bastrop High, Winston compiled 191 career tackles and 13 interceptions with the Rams. He was part of three straight Class 4A state championship teams and a state semifinalist squad at Bastrop.
    Winston is one of three former Rams on the UCA roster. Center Earl Ross Downs is entering his sophomore season, while wide receiver Jay Wilson joins the Bears as an incoming freshman.
    Defending Southland Conference co-champions UCA and Sam Houston State landed 12 players apiece on the preseason All-Conference team, along with McNeese State. Stephen F. Austin has seven selections, followed by Lamar and Southeastern Louisiana with five, Nicholls State with three and Northwestern State with two.
    Headlining the Bears' first-team selections are quarterback Wynrick Smothers and defensive end Jonathan Woodard.
    Smothers, a senior from Destrehan, is the reigning SLC Offensive Player of the Year, while Woodard earned Freshman of the Year honors.
    Also named to the first team from UCA were 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 Jestin Love.
    UCA's second-team honorees include offensive linemen Dominique Allen and Kyle Stouffer and defensive back Marcus Peters.
    The league will release its preseason polls at Wednesday's Media Day in Lake Charles.
     

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