(Back to front, left to right) Seniors Jordan Toliver, Dawson Hadnot, Terrance Partee and junior Cardell Best are the upperclassman defense for the Bears. With their efforts, the UCA Bears’ defense is one of the best in all college football.
The UCA Bears’ defense is having a memorable season. After week two, the Bears were ranked number one in run stop defense in all of college football. During this, there were four Bears ranked in the top 45 in tackles for loss in all of college football: seniors Terrance Partee, Jordan Toliver, Dawson Hadnot and junior Cardell Best.
Partee is a 6’3 285-pound defensive lineman from Memphis, Tennessee. Before the season started, he was nominated 2016 preseason All-Southland. Partee has been playing for the Bears since he was a freshman, appearing in 11 games and making 24 tackles as a true-freshman. Partee was a two-time All-District Defensive/ Offensive lineman at Southwind High School.
“Growing up I lived with my grandma, my mama, my granddad, my uncles, and we were all stuck in one house and I didn’t want to leave that way when I got older. Sleeping with my little cousins on the floor, on the couches motivated me,” Partee said
This season, Partee has 11 total tackles and four tackles for loss against Houston Baptist, Samford and Northwestern
State. Defensive lineman Toliver also gained recognition this season. He played 5A Texas football at Duncanville High School. By the end of his junior year in high school, Toliver had 93 tackles, 21 quarterback pressures and 11 tackles for loss. Hadnot is 6’1 and 304 pounds. He also played 5A Texas football at Garland High School, where he played defensive line, quarterback and tight end.
Surprisingly enough, Hadnot and Toliver played each other in two high school football games in 2010 and 2011.
“I didn’t know him at the time but we remembered playing each other once we met. It’s cool looking back on it now because I was playing offense against him,” Hadnot said.
Toliver spoke highly about his teammate.
“He was their star player, his sophomore and junior year at quarterback and then he played tight end and defense his senior year. He was a huge quarterback about 235-245 pounds,” Toliver said.
Cardell Best played defensive lineman for Little Elm High School in Texas.
“I’m originally from Detroit Michigan, a little town called Inkston, Michigan. In Michigan they told me I was over the weight limit and I couldn’t play but when I moved to Texas they wanted me to play football and they told me I could get my school paid for if I took it seriously, and behold I am here,” Best said.
Best dedicates his playing to his late mother.
“I felt I needed to take it to another level, use it as motivation, because I did everything for her,” Best said.
Best also played power forward for the Little Elm High School basketball team.
“My first love was basketball. I just seen that football was a sport I could be more dominant in also get my school paid for,” Best said.