December 3, 2022

Incarnate Word is coming off their 2nd Southland Championship, but will begin their 1st season in the WAC in 2022. New head coach G.J. Kinne steps in to replace Eric Morris who is new offensive coordinator at Washington State and Kinne must replace multiple top contributors from the 2021 squad. The defense for the Cardinals received a major addition as former Stephen F. Austin defensive end Wilburn Smallwood announced his commitment to Incarnate Word on social media.

Smallwood was a consensus 3-star recruit out of Lufkin, TX and ranked as Top-120 EDGE rusher in the class of 2020. He ranked as a Top-325 player in the state of Texas and The 6-foot-2, 223-pound defensive end totaled 84 total tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, 15 QB pressures, & 2 fumble recoveries throughout his high school career. He originally committed to Nevada, but decommitted before National Signing Day and decided to sign with Stephen F. Austin over Lamar and Texas Southern. 

Smallwood did not see much action at Stephen F. Austin as a true freshman in 2021 and announced his transfer on April 5th after the conclusion of spring practices. He received offers from Houston Baptist, Incarnate Word, and Valdosta State after announcing his entry into the transfer portal. He will join his former Lufkin High School teammate Caleb Berry who transferred to Incarnate Word from Washington this offseason. Smallwood will have four years of eligibility left for the Cardinals. 

The Cardinals lost multiple impact players on the defensive line including Brandon Bowen and Jared Soyring. Smallwood will join Cameron Preston, Sam Latham, Seth Jaquess, and Darius Richmond on the defensive line for the 2022 season. Smallwood will be able to make an immediate impact for the Cardinals pass rush and should find a way into the defensive line rotation next season. 

Incarnate Word opens up the 2022 season against Southern Illinois on September 3rd and will look to compete for the WAC Championship in their 1st season in the conference. 

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