Five Bears earn All-America honors

CONWAY — The University of Central Arkansas Bears had five players named to the STATS Perform FCS All-America team on Tuesday.

UCA was one of six schools to have as many as five selections. UCA’s players honored include defensive ends David Walker and Logan Jessup, safety TaMuarion Wilson, punt returner Jarrod Barnes and running back ShunDerrick Powell.

Walker is a 6-foot-2, 260-pounder from Stuttgart, Ark., who last fall was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, which goes to the national FCS defensive player of the year. He led the Bears and the ASUN in tackles for loss and sacks while earning six postseason All-America honors.

Wilson, a 6-2, 205-pounder from Bryant, Ark., is a two-time All-Conference selection who led the Bears in tackles the past two seasons and topped the ASUN tackles chart last season.

Barnes, a 5-11, 180-pounder from Cabot, Ark., led the ASUN in punt returns and was third in the nation while earning All-America honors in 2022. He was also UCA’s leading receiver with 40 receptions for 708 yards.

Jessup is a 6-3, 255-pound senior from Wynne, Ark., who is a three-year starter and two-time All-Conference and All-Academic selection.

Powell, a 5-9, 180-pound running back from Hoxie, Ark., transferred to UCA from North Alabama, where he rushed for 1,508 yards and 18 touchdowns to lead the ASUN, and was named the co-Offensive Player of the Year in the league and a finalist for the Walter Payton Award.   

UCA opens the 2023 season on Saturday, Sept. 2 at FBS Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla.