Thursday, August 27, 2015

9 Days 'till Kickoff - #9 Wes Holcombe


It's now 9 days until kickoff of Catamount football against the Mars Hill University Lions in E.J. Whitmire Stadium on September 5th in Cullowhee.

To help pass those long summer days until football season officially starts, and to hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, we'll continue the 100 day football countdown each day until kickoff day arrives.

Utilizing the 2015 Preseason Football Roster, #9 is assigned to Wes Holcombe

#9 Wes Holcombe

Class: Sophomore
Hometown: Rabun Gap, Ga.
High School: Rabun County HS
Height / Weight: 6-1 / 185
Position: QB



2014 (Freshman): Saw action in three games at quarterback, each in a reserve role ... Finished 1-for-3 for 12 yards ... Made his collegiate debut late in the game at Presbyterian (Oct. 4) ... Tossed an interception on his first pass attempt at PC ... Completed his first pass for a 12-yard gain against Chattanooga (Nov. 1) ... Credited with two rush attempts against Chattanooga ... Named to the 2014-15 Southern Conference Honor Roll ... Playing for the Gold squad, connected on 14-of-29 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown in WCU's annual Spring Game

Prior to Western Carolina: Passed for over 3,500 yards in his final two seasons of high school including over 2,300 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior ... Was an offensive honorable mention at QB on the 8-AA All-Region team ... In addition to quarterback, also played in the defensive secondary as a prep, moving to the position primarily as a senior after a thumb injury ... Played for former Catamount Lee Shaw at Rabun County HS.



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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Position Previews: Tight Ends (video)


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10 Days 'till Kickoff - #10 Troy Mitchell


It's now 10 days until kickoff of Catamount football against the Mars Hill University Lions in E.J. Whitmire Stadium on September 5th in Cullowhee.

To help pass those long summer days until football season officially starts, and to hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, we'll continue the 100 day football countdown each day until kickoff day arrives.

Utilizing the 2015 Preseason Football Roster, #10 is assigned to Troy Mitchell

#10 Troy Mitchell


Class: Senior
Hometown: Houston, Texas
High School: Cypress Falls (Texas) HS
Height / Weight: 6-0 / 195
Position: QB





2014 (Junior): Started at quarterback in all 12 seasonal games ... Completed 231-of-352 (65.6%) passes for 2,541 yards and 20 passing touchdowns ... Was intercepted nine times ... Ranked second in the SoCon with a 211.8 passing yards per game average ... Was second on the squad with 555 rushing yards on 127 carries, scoring six touchdowns ... Named second team All-Southern Conference by both the coaches and media ... Set the WCU single-season record for total offense in a season, amassing 3,096 yards to surpass the previous benchmark of 2,984 set by David Rivers in 2000 ... Ranked second in the SoCon with an average of 258.0 total offense yardage per game ... Earned Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Week plaudits and weekly honors from College Sports Madness after tallying career-highs with 374 yards passing on 46-of-66 passing at USF (Aug. 30) ... Matched a career-high by rushing for a season-best 131 yards on 15 carries against The Citadel (Oct. 25) ... Collected a second Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Week honor after the win over VMI (Nov. 15), amassing 448 yards of total offense and throwing five touchdown passes ... Playing for the Purple squad, completed 12-of-22 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown while unofficially rushing 10 times for 36 yards in WCU's annual Spring Game.

2013 (Sophomore): Played in 11 of the team's 12 games making nine starts in the offensive backfield ... Finished with a team-high 1,614 yards passing, completing 131-of-227 (57.7%) of his passes on the year with 12 touchdown passes against 10 interceptions ... Rushed 133 times for 565 yards, ranking second on the team in total rushing yards and average per game (51.4 yds/gm) ... Ranked fifth in the Southern Conference in both passing (146.7 yds/gm) and total offense (198.1 yds/gm) ... Additionally ranked fourth in the league in passer efficiency (126.1) ... Opened the season with touchdown passes in each of the first three games ... Threw for a then career-best 350 yards and a then career-high three touchdown passes in the come-from-behind victory over Mars Hill, matching a career-best with 20 completions ... Tallied a then career-best 414 yards of total offense against the Lions ... Rushed for a season-high 106 yards against The Citadel - his two, 100-yard rushing games have both come against the Bulldogs ... Credited with a solo tackle ... Completed 15 of his 26 pass attempts for 156 yards and two TDs, carrying the ball nine times for 29 yards on the ground in WCU's annual Spring Game.

2012 (Freshman): Saw action in all 11 of the team's games, making five starts at quarterback ... Became the third true freshman quarterback to start at WCU since 1991, joining Chad Greene (1991) and Brandon Pechloff (2010) ... Named to the 2012 Southern Conference All-Freshman team ... Rushed 112 times for 433 yards, second on the squad ... Led the team with eight rushing touchdowns, the most by a Catamount QB, surpassing Josh Brook's five rushing scores in 1996 (research back to 1967) ... Finished the season with a team-leading 50 points, adding a two-point conversion rush ... Completed 85-of-142 pass attempts for 862 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions ... Led WCU in total offense, amassing 1,295 yards - a mark which ranked him eighth in the SoCon ... Tossed his first career touchdown pass to Jacoby Mitchell at Elon, coming on his 66th career pass attempt ... Twice named SoCon Freshman of the Week ... Picked up his first honor after completing 20-of-29 passing (both career highs) for 149 yards and rushing for 38 yards and a pair of scores in the season-opener against Mars Hill ... Was the fourth WCU freshman or redshirt freshman QB to earn SoCon honors after first career start (Adam Hearns, 2007; Zack Jaynes, 2008; Brandon Pechloff, 2010) ... Again earned SoCon and SouthernPigskin.com Freshman of the Week honors after guiding WCU's second-half comeback at Elon with 175 yards passing and two touchdown passes ... Threw for a then career-best 176 yards on 18-of-30 passing against Chattanooga.

Prior to Western Carolina: Was a three-year starter who threw for over 2,400 yards and 30 touchdowns as a senior at Cypress Falls High in Houston, Texas ... Earned Texas 5-A All-District 17 honors following his senior season ... Dual-threat QB who tossed seven touchdown passes in a single-game against Elsik in bi-district playoff meeting in Nov. 2011 ... Earned the Marine Corps Elite Warrior of the Week honor following a 331-yard, six TD performance against Jersey Village ... Was named second team all-district as a junior.

Personal: Full name is Troy Lavaughn Mitchell ... Is the son of Troy and Shanita Mitchell ... Has two siblings, Raybon and Zurie ... Was born in Mobile, Ala., before moving to Texas.

Career Notes: Enters his senior season having amassed 6,565 yards of total offense and is just 267 yards behind WCU's all-time career leader, Lonnie Galloway (1990-93) who finished with 6,832 yards of total offense ... Is also closing in on WCU's passing records, entering the season just 1,143 passing yards and seven passing TDs shy of WCU's all-time leader in both categories, Mike Pusey (1977-79) ... Mitchell already holds WCU's scoring record for the most career touchdown responsibilities with 52 -- 36 career TD passes and 16 career rushing scores.



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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Position Previews: Quarterbacks (video)



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11 Days 'till Kickoff - #11 Jordan Mathis


It's now 11 days until kickoff of Catamount football against the Mars Hill University Lions in E.J. Whitmire Stadium on September 5th in Cullowhee.

To help pass those long summer days until football season officially starts, and to hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, we'll continue the 100 day football countdown each day until kickoff day arrives.

Utilizing the 2015 Preseason Football Roster, #11 is assigned to Jordan Mathis


#11 Jordan Mathis



Class: RS Freshman
Hometown: Marietta, Ga.
High School: Marietta HS
Height / Weight: 5-10 / 200
Position: WR\



2014 (Freshman): Redshirted ... A two-sport student-athlete, saw action in five games for the Catamount baseball team ... Went 0-for-2 with one run scored and a stolen base as a pinch runner ... Playing for the Gold squad, caught three passes for 18 yards in WCU's annual Spring Game.

Prior to Western Carolina: Three-year varsity letter winner who earned honorable mention all-conference accolades twice before garnering second team honors as a senior... Recorded 42 receptions for 662 yards and eight touchdowns for the Blue Devils, who finished 8-3 and earned a state playoff trip ... Added 74 rushing yards and a TD on the ground ... a two-sport standout including football and baseball ... As a senior, broke the school record for most career touchdowns with 23 ... Is expected to walk-on the Catamount baseball team as a sophomore ... Earned the Jackie Smallwood Award for baseball ... High school coach was Scott Burton.

Personal: Full name is Jordan Elliott Mathis ... Is the son of Mark and Melanie Mathis ... Has two younger siblings, Sydney and Christian ... Father played collegiate football at Liberty University before a six-year career in the NFL with the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Dolphins.



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Monday, August 24, 2015

12 Days 'till Kickoff - #12 Tyrie Adams


It's now 12 days until kickoff of Catamount football against the Mars Hill University Lions in E.J. Whitmire Stadium on September 5th in Cullowhee.

To help pass those long summer days until football season officially starts, and to hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, we'll continue the 100 day football countdown each day until kickoff day arrives.

Utilizing the 2015 Preseason Football Roster, #12 is assigned to Tyrie Adams


#12 Tyrie Adams

Class: Freshman
Hometown: St. Petersburg, Fla.
High School: Dixie M. Hollins HS
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 175
Position: QB




Prior to Western Carolina: Three-sport standout in high school, recruited as a football quarterback and in the high jump in track & field while also playing basketball ... Named to the Tampa Tribune's All-Pinellas County football second team as an athlete ... As a senior, threw for 2,802 yards and 30 touchdowns including a career-high -- and county record -- 598 yards and six TDs on 36-of-55 passing against Tarpon Springs, adding 109 rushing yards and another score ... Recorded 505 passing yards in a game as a senior while earning BHSN Athlete of the Week honors after throwing for 448 yards and four TDs in a win over Seminole HS ... Was a third-team Class 6-A All-State Elite team selection in 2013 ... Was named first team All-Tampa in track & field in the high jump after finishing third at Class 3-A state meet ... Had the area's top height at 6-10 during season.



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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Football Position Previews: Defensive Backs

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13 Days 'till Kickoff - #13 Hassan Belton


It's now 13 days until kickoff of Catamount football against the Mars Hill University Lions in E.J.Whitmire Stadium on September 5th in Cullowhee.

To help pass those long summer days until football season officially starts, and to hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, we'll continue the 100 day football countdown each day until kickoff day arrives.

Utilizing the 2015 Preseason Football Roster, #13 is assigned to Hassan Belton

#13 Hassan Belton


Class: Freshman
Hometown: Columbia, S.C.
High School: Blythewood HS
Height / Weight: 6-0 / 215
Position: LB




Prior to Western Carolina: In three seasons, amassed 279 tackles including 210 solo stops ... Was a two-time all-state and all-region selection ... Only played in seven games as a senior, but recorded 115 tackles including 15 for loss and seven sacks ... Forced four fumbles and had an interception as a senior ... Posted 156 tackles including 13 TFLs with 11 sacks as a junior ... Set a school record with 24 tackles in a single game ... Was named the Defensive Most Valuable Player of the 2014 Shrine Bowl for the South Carolina squad, recording 14 tackle including two TFLs and recovering a fumble ... Was his team's MVP on the junior varsity squad as a freshman ... Attended and excelled in numerous camps in 2014 including the Adidas Georgia Showcase, Nike SPARQ, VTO Elite 100 and Rivals Charlotte Invitational, finishing as the top performer at each camp ... Listed as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com and a two-star recruit from 247Sports.com ... High school coach was Dan Morgan.

Personal: Is the son of Patrick and Monica Belton ... Father played collegiate football as a running back at South Carolina State ... He is the youngest of three brothers: P. Andre and Matrick, who plays football at South Carolina ... Was born in Jacksonville, Fla.


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Football Final Scrimmage Highlights (8-22-15)

     Courtesy CatamountSports.com          


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Saturday, August 22, 2015

14 Days 'till Kickoff - #14 Karnorris Benson & Garrett Young


It's now 14 days until kickoff of Catamount football against the Mars Hill University Lions in E.J.Whitmire Stadium on September 5th in Cullowhee.

To help pass those long summer days until football season officially starts, and to hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, we'll continue the 100 day football countdown each day until kickoff day arrives.

Utilizing the 2015 Preseason Football Roster, #14 is assigned to two players:  Karnorris Benson & Garrett Young

#14  Karnorris Benson


Class: RS Senior
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
High School: Therrell HS
Height / Weight: 6-1 / 205
Position: WR




2014 (Redshirt Junior): Played in 10 of the team's 12 seasonal games, making nine appearances among the starting lineup ... Missed the first two games of the year stemming from a suspension from the NCAA ... Finished third on the team with 40 catches for 519 yards, averaging 51.9 receiving yards per game ... Tallied three-or-more catches seven times including nine at Alabama (Nov. 22) ... Was second on the squad with five receiving touchdowns including a career-high four in a home win over VMI (Nov. 15) ... Scored 32 points on the year ... Tallied a pair of 100-yard receiving games with a season-high 127 yards vs. VMI and 118 at Alabama ... Just missed the century mark with 91 receiving years on seven catches at Samford (Nov. 8) ... Returned three kickoffs for 63 yards with a long return of 26 yards ... Added three tackles on special teams and also recovered a fumble against Presbyterian (Oct. 4) ... Named to the College Football Performance (CFPA) Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Wide Receiver Award Watch List for 2014 ... Playing for the Purple squad, caught two passes for 19 yards in WCU's annual Spring Game.

2013 (Redshirt Sophomore): Started all 12 games at wide receiver ... Hauled in a team-leading 51 receptions for a career-high 834 yards ... Matched WCU's 30-year old school single-season record for receiving touchdowns in a season set by Eric Rasheed back in 1983 with 12... Named second team All-Southern Conference by both the league's head coaches and voting media ... Earned first team All-SoCon accolades as selected by College Sports Madness ... Finished the season ranked second in the league with a 69.5 yards per game average and fifth with 4.2 receptions per game ... the top scoring wide receiver in the SoCon, ranked fourth in the SoCon in scoring (touchdowns) averaging 6.0 points per game ... His 72 points scored were tied for the fourth-most by an individual in the SoCon in the fall, and were the most by a Catamount individual since 2001 when Fred Boateng finished with 74 points, adding a two-point conversion to his 12 rushing TDs. ... Recorded 100-or-more yards in four games on the year including 113 at Middle Tennessee State; 116 against nationally-ranked Wofford; 129 in the home win over Elon; and the top receiving performance of any wide out in the SoCon this season with his career-high 212 yards in WCU's home win over Mars Hill ... Was a two-time College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) honorable mention - career-high 212 receiving yards on nine catches including three TDs in the home win over Mars Hill on Sept. 23 and in the home win over Elon after two scoring receptions of 80 and six yards ... Became just the fifth WCU receiver to eclipse the 200-yard receiving plateau with the 212 yards ranking third on the school's all-time single-game receiving records.

2012 (Redshirt Freshman): Started four of the nine games in which he saw action ... Finished fourth on the team with 19 receptions while his 349 receiving yards were the third-most on the squad ... Tallied receptions in eight of the nine games he appeared ... Recorded a career-high 83 yards receiving at nationally-ranked Wofford ... Pulled down a career-best four catches at Furman, finishing with 75 yards ... Hauled in his first career touchdown pass against Chattanooga on a 42-yard score that gave WCU a 24-16 halftime lead over the Mocs ... Tallied a team-high seven receptions for 90 yards and three touchdowns in WCU's annual Spring Game.

2011 (Freshman): Originally signed with Western Carolina in the 2010 incoming class but did not qualify, sitting out his freshman season ... Later granted a redshirt.

Prior to Western Carolina: As a two-way player, amassed over 1,400 yards receiving with 16 touchdowns on offense and recorded 142 career tackles in two varsity seasons at Therrell HS ... Set a city record with nine interceptions his senior season, finishing with 16 career INTs ... Tabbed All-Area by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution (AJC) ... Named Defensive Player of the Year as a junior... Also rushed 17 times for 200 yards and a pair of scores along with completing four passes for 30 yards and a score ... Earned first team All-State as a wide receiver during his final prep season.

Personal: Full name is Karnorris Bernard Benson... Is the son of Lula Kemp.

Career Notes: Including his record-tying dozen receiving TDs in 2013 and five in 2014, enters his final year with 18 career touchdown receptions, tied for fifth with Jerry Gaines (18, 1970-74) in the school's all-time record books ... Benson is just eight receiving TDs shy of Gerald Harp's school-record of 26 set between 1977-80.

______________________________________



#16 Garrett Young


Class: RS Sophomore
Hometown: Denver, N.C.
High School: East Lincoln HS
Last College: Mars Hill
Height / Weight: 6-1 / 195
Position: QB





Prior to Western Carolina: Originally signed with Mars Hill out of high school ... Transferred to WCU prior to spring drills, 2015 ...

High School: Led East Lincoln to the first undefeated season in school history and a 2A state championship ... Threw for 3,751 yards and 47 touchdowns on 226 completions with only seven interceptions during the 2012 campaign despite missing several weeks of the season with a knee injury ... Threw a 79-yard TD game-winning TD pass as a part of 146 yards through the air in the North Carolina East-West All-Star game.



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Friday, August 21, 2015

Football Position Previews: Defensive Backs


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15 Days 'till Kickoff - #15 Michael Helms Jr.


It's now 15 days until kickoff of Catamount football against the Mars Hill University Lions in E.J.Whitmire Stadium on September 5th in Cullowhee.

To help pass those long summer days until football season officially starts, and to hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, we'll continue the 100 day football countdown each day until kickoff day arrives.

Utilizing the 2015 Preseason Football Roster, #15 is Michael Helms Jr.

#15 Michael Helms Jr.


Class: RS Junior
Hometown: Morganton, N.C.
High School: Freedom HS
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 235
Position: TE




2014 (Redshirt Sophomore): Played in all 12 games with four starts at tight end, each coming at home … Caught six passes for 80 yards including a season-long 28-yard reception against Wofford (Oct. 11) … Tallied a season-high two receptions in the season-opener at USF (Aug. 30) … Also credited with three tackles … Named to the 2014-15 Southern Conference Honor Roll … Sat out during most of 2015 spring drills.

2013 (Redshirt Freshman): Saw action in 11 of the team's 12 games, missing the season finale at Appalachian State ... Made six starts at tight end ... Hauled in 10 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown ... Caught a career-best two passes in three different games ... Recorded his first career reception on a 15-yard completion against FBS-foe, Virginia Tech ... Tallied a pair of receptions for a career-best 79 receiving yards at Samford, posting a career-long catch of 65 yards - the second-longest reception by a Catamount on the year ... Caught an eight-yard touchdown pass in the home overtime win over Elon for his first collegiate score ... Was also credited with two tackles ... Named to the SoCon All-Freshman team.

2012 (Freshman): Did not see game action, taking a redshirt ... Converted from quarterback to wide receiver early in the 2012 season ... Made the move to tight end during spring drills ... Enrolled at Western Carolina for the spring semester in January, 2012 and participated in 2012 spring drills with the Catamount football team ... In the annual spring game, completed all three pass attempts for 13 yards while rushing for 27 on the ground.

Prior to Western Carolina: Two-time Burke County Player of the Year and a three-time All-South Mountain Athletic Conference selection ... Garnered the league's offensive player of the year plaudits as a junior after throwing for a school-record 2,652 yards and 30 touchdowns, adding 361 rushing yards and eight rushing TDs ... For his three-year varsity career, threw for 6,227 yards and 77 touchdowns, adding 1,008 yards rushing and 20 scores on the ground ... Set and matched a school-record with 30 passing touchdowns as both a junior and senior, collecting five passing touchdowns in four different games ... Selected to play in the North-South Shrine Bowl ... Also ran track and played golf as a prep.

Personal: Is the son of Mike Sr. and Barbara Helms ... His father, Mike, is a former football standout at Lenior-Rhyne and the head football coach at Freedom High while his mother played collegiate basketball at Wake Forest and currently coaches girls basketball at Hickory High ... Has a younger brother, Brandon.




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Thursday, August 20, 2015

16 Days 'till Kickoff - #16 Bobby Gibbs & Skyler Matheson


It's now 16 days until kickoff of Catamount football against the Mars Hill University Lions in E.J.Whitmire Stadium on September 5th in Cullowhee.

To help pass those long summer days until football season officially starts, and to hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, we'll continue the 100 day football countdown each day until kickoff day arrives.

Utilizing the 2015 Preseason Football Roster, #16 is assigned to two players:  Bobby Gibbs & Skyler Matheson


#16 Bobby Gibbs

Class: Freshman
Hometown: Randleman, N.C.
High School: Randleman HS
Height / Weight: 5-10 / 195
Position: DB




2014 (Freshman): Redshirted.

Prior to Western Carolina: Was a three-year defensive starter for Randleman HS and a two-time All-Pac-6 Conference player ... Recorded three interceptions, had eight pass breakups, and made 35 total tackles as a senior ... Also scored three returns for touchdowns ... Averaged 23 yards on punt returns and 39 yard on kickoff returns, scoring on three returns for TDs .... Also contributed on the offensive side as a wide receiver and kick returner ... During his senior season, tallied 212 rushing yards on 20 carries with a touchdown, adding 161 receiving yards on 10 receptions with three scores.



_______________________________


#16 Skyler Matheson














Class: Incoming Freshman
Hometown: Robbinsville, N.C.
High School: Robbinsville HS
Height / Weight: 6-0 / 200
Position: QB

Prior to Western Carolina: Joined the WCU football team as a preferred walk-on ... Named All-Smoky Mountain 1-A Conference selection ... Threw for 93 yards, ran for 34 yards and a TD and made a team-high 12 tackles in the NCHSAA 1-A championship game earning game MVP honors ... Passed for 1,093 yards and eight touchdowns with 1,694 rushing yards and 22 TDs on th ground ... Led RHS with 181 tackles including 133 solo stops with 18 TFLs, five fumble recoveries and two interceptions ... Selected to the East-West All-Star game ... Also played basketball at Robbinsville High.

Personal: Is the son of David Matheson.



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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

17 Days 'till Kickoff - #17 Damian Whitaker


It's now 17 days until kickoff of Catamount football against the Mars Hill University Lions in E.J.Whitmire Stadium on September 5th in Cullowhee.

To help pass those long summer days until football season officially starts, and to hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, we'll continue the 100 day football countdown each day until kickoff day arrives.

Utilizing the 2015 Preseason Football Roster, #17 is to Damian Whitaker

#17 Damian Whitaker


Class: RS Junior
Hometown: Decatur, Ga.
High School: Druid Hills HS
Height / Weight: 6-0 / 200
Position: LB




2014 (Redshirt Sophomore): Played in 11 of the team’s 12 games with one start coming in the season-opener at USF (Aug. 30) … Recorded 13 tackles including 10 solo stops, securing a career-best three solo hits twice … Tallied a career-high five tackles and a pass break-up at USF … Forced and recovered a second quarter fumble on a punt in the home win over VMI (Nov. 15) … Playing for the Purple squad, credited with four tackles and one pass break-up in WCU’s annual Spring Game.

2013 (Redshirt Freshman): Played in all 12 games as a defensive reserve and on special teams ... Credited with four total tackles including three solo stops ... Tallied two hits in the season finale against Appalachian State ... Led the team with three fumble recoveries, ranking tied for second in the Southern Conference in the category (3, 0.25/gm) ... Recovered fumbles against Virginia Tech, Georgia Southern and Appalachian State - all three games coming on the road.

2012 (Freshman): Redshirted ... Recovered a fumble for the lone takeaway in WCU's annual Spring Game, emerging from a scrum with the ball after John McBeth had punched it loose following a short pass completion.

Prior to Western Carolina: Three-year varsity letter winner who was twice named All-AVCA and twice tabbed to the All-Region team as a junior and senior ... Rushed for 322 yards and six touchdowns as a senior while also hauling in 23 passes for 264 yards and two TDs ... Defensively, recorded 63 tackles including 41 solo stops with four interceptions as a senior as a part of earning team MVP honors ... Earned the Matthew Hardeman Award and was a HBCU All-Star in his final season in high school ... Also ran track as a prep, earning Most Improved Runner.

Personal: Full name is Damian Raynard Whitaker ... Is the son of Reginald and Marian Whitaker ... Has three cousins who play football at Sewanee University, Villanova and Ole Miss.



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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Position Previews: Running Backs (video)





Courtesy CatamountSports.com and CSN            



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18 Days 'till Kickoff - #18 Bryce Wilson


It's now 18 days until kickoff of Catamount football against the Mars Hill University Lions in E.J.Whitmire Stadium on September 5th in Cullowhee.

To help pass those long summer days until football season officially starts, and to hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, we'll continue the 100 day football countdown each day until kickoff day arrives.

Utilizing the 2015 Preseason Football Roster, #18 is to Bryce Wilson

#18 Bryce Wilson


Class: Incoming Freshman
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
High School: Carver HS
Height / Weight: 5-10 / 170
Position: DB







Prior to Western Carolina: Was a three-year starter at Carver HS where he was a three-time team defensive back MVP ... Twice earned all-region honors in his final two seasons ... Tallied five touchdowns as a senior including three on offense and two defensively ... Team captain as a senior ... Finished his prep career with 10 career interceptions ... High school coach was Darren Myles.

Personal: Full name is Bryce D. Wilson ... Is the son of Eric and Adra Wilson ... His father played baseball at Morehouse College ... Has three siblings: Rayah, Raven and Reece.



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Monday, August 17, 2015

2015 Position-by-Position Previews: Linebackers



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19 Days 'till Kickoff - #19 Seth Curtis & D.J. Williams


It's now 19 days until kickoff of Catamount football against the Mars Hill University Lions in E.J.Whitmire Stadium on September 5th in Cullowhee.

To help pass those long summer days until football season officially starts, and to hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, we'll continue the 100 day football countdown each day until kickoff day arrives.

Utilizing the 2015 Preseason Football Roster, #19 is  assigned to two players - Seth Curtis  &  D.J. Williams

#19 Seth Curtis


Class: RS Junior
Hometown: Murphy, N.C.
High School: Murphy HS
Height / Weight: 5-10 / 195
Position: WR




2014 (Redshirt Sophomore): Did not see game action, missing the majority of the season due to a shoulder injury.

2013 (Redshirt Freshman): Played in nine games on the year as a reserve wide receiver ... Made his collegiate debut in the season-opener at Middle Tennessee ... Recorded two pass receptions for 34 yards including a career-long 18-yard catch, all coming at Samford.

2012 (Freshman): Redshirted ... Caught three passes for 47 yards including a 28-yard TD reception in WCU's annual Spring Game.

Prior to Western Carolina: Set the Murphy HS record for career yardage (rushing and passing) with 7,794 yards including over 5,000 yards through the air ... As a three-year starter, led the Bulldogs to 33 victories ... Tabbed as the NCPreps.com 1-A Player of the Year ... Also named the Asheville Citizen-Times All-WNC Player of the Year while also being touted as the 2011 Smoky Mountain Conference Back of the Year ... Guided the Bulldogs to back-to-back state title games, winning Murphy a NCHSAA 1-A championship as a senior - the first state championship for the school since 1996 ... Threw for 2,111 yards and 21 touchdowns with just five interceptions while also rushing for 1,301 yards and 20 TDs.

Personal: Is the son of David and Melanie Curtis.


_____________________________________



#19 D.J. Williams


Class: RS Freshman
Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
High School: North Mecklenburg HS
Height / Weight: 5-10 / 195
Position: DB




2014 (Freshman): Redshirted

Prior to Western Carolina: Played high school football at North Mecklenburg High as a defensive back ... Returned an interception 96 yards for a touchdown in a win over East Meck in 2011.



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Sunday, August 16, 2015

20 Days 'till Kickoff - #20 Darius Ramsey


It's now 20 days until kickoff of Catamount football against the Mars Hill University Lions in E.J.Whitmire Stadium on September 5th in Cullowhee.

To help pass those long summer days until football season officially starts, and to hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, we'll continue the 100 day football countdown each day until kickoff day arrives.

Utilizing the 2015 Preseason Football Roster, #20 is Darius Ramsey

#20 Darius Ramsey

Class: Senior
Hometown: Waco, N.C.
High School: Burns HS
Height / Weight: 5-8 / 185
Position: RB





2014 (Junior): One of four Catamounts on offense to start all 12 of the team’s games … Led the squad with 763 rushing yards on 148 carries with six touchdowns … Had two, 100-yard rushing performances with a season-high 128 against VMI (Nov. 15) and 113 at Furman (Sept. 27) … Ranked eighth in the SoCon with a 63.6 yard per game average … Added 16 catches for 140 yards out of the backfield … Was tied for fourth on the squad with 36 points … Ranked 10th in the SoCon in all-purpose yards, finishing with 903 for an average of 75.2 per game … Collected Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Week plaudits after rushing for 95 yards and a career-high three touchdowns against Brevard (Sept. 6) … Named second team All-Southern Conference by the league’s head coaches … Selected to the Capital One Academic All-District 3 first team by CoSIDA … Named first team Capital One Academic All-America by CoSIDA … Named to the 2014 Fall Academic All-Southern Conference team and to the 2014-15 Southern Conference Honor Roll … Playing for the Purple squad, rushed for a game-high 114 yards on 22 carries with two touchdowns in WCU’s annual Spring Game.

2013 (Sophomore): Started all 10 games in which he saw action on the season, missing the first two games of the season for precautionary reasons due to a nagging foot injury ... Recorded a single-season best 570 rushing yards on 139 carries with four rushing touchdowns ... Ranked 10th in the Southern Conference in rushing, averaging a team-best 56.5 yards per game ... Eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark three times including a season-high 116 yards against Furman ... Added 11 receptions for 86 yards and a TD coming out of the backfield ... Caught his first career touchdown pass on a 25-yard reception at Appalachian State in the season finale ... Finished third on the team in both scoring with 30 points and total offense with 570 yards (57.0 yds/gm) ... Named to the 2013 Fall Academic All-Southern Conference team ... Credited with a tackle ... Named to the 2013-14 Southern Conference Honor Roll ... Rushed seven times for 28 yards overall, adding a reception out of the backfield while also rushing for a touchdown in the special overtime, non-scored session just after the halftime break in WCU's annual Spring Game.

2012 (Freshman): Appeared in nine of WCU's 11 games with four starts at running back ... Led the team with 503 yards rushing on the season, averaging a team-leading 55.9 yards rushing per game to rank 10th in the SoCon ... Scored a pair of rushing touchdowns ... Ranked third on the team with 25 receptions out of the backfield, finishing with 131 yards with a 14.6 yard per game average ... Named to the 2012 Southern Conference All-Freshman team ... Started the season opener in the backfield in his collegiate debut against Mars Hill, rushing for a career-high 120 yards on 20 carries ... Set career highs with four catches for 32 yards at Marshall ... Recorded his first collegiate touchdown at ninth-ranked Wofford, plunging in from two-yards out with 5:25 remaining in the third quarter ... Eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark a second time at The Citadel, collecting 118 yards on 16 carries ... Rushed for 72 yards and his second career TD against Chattanooga ... Named to the 2012-13 Southern Conference Honor Roll.

Prior to Western Carolina: Named the Cleveland County Player of the Year and was selected to the Cleveland County All-County team as a senior ... Selected to the second team offense of the All-Region team by the Charlotte Observer ... Rushed for 1,928 yards - the fifth-best in county history - with 31 touchdowns as a senior, accounting for 198 total points - the highest single-season total in county history ... Helped guide Burns HS to the NCHSAA West Region finals, finishing with a 13-2 record ... Finished his career with 4,627 yards, the tops in Burns High history and third all-time in the county .. .Was a three-time South Mountain Athletic Conference selection ... Was joined by Burns High teammate Brandon Littlejohn in signing with WCU in 2012.

Personal: Full name is Darius Devon Ramsey ... Is the son of Derrick and Phyllis Ramsey ... Has a younger sister, Breiona.



Courtesy WCU Athletics Media Relations

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Football: Post Scrimmage Interviews: 8/15/14



Courtesy CatamountSports.com           




Courtesy WCU Athletics Media Relations

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21 Days 'till Kickoff - #21 Detrez Newsome


It's now 21 days until kickoff of Catamount football against the Mars Hill University Lions in E.J.Whitmire Stadium on September 5th in Cullowhee.

To help pass those long summer days until football season officially starts, and to hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, we'll continue the 100 day football countdown each day until kickoff day arrives.

Utilizing the 2015 Preseason Football Roster, #21 is Detrez Newsome

#21 Detrez Newsome


Class: Sophomore
Hometown: Raeford, N.C.
High School: Hoke County HS
Height / Weight: 5-10 / 210
Position: RB




2014 (Redshirt Freshman): Saw action in all 12 games in the offensive backfield … Ranked third on the team with 488 rushing yards while pacing the Catamounts with nine rushing touchdowns … Racked up 1,311 all-purpose yards including 689 yards on 26 kickoff returns including one for a touchdown … Was second in the SoCon in kickoff return average (26.5 yds/gm) … Finished the year ranked third in the SoCon in all-purpose yards, averaging 109.3 yards per game … Recorded two touchdowns in a game five times as a freshman, ranking second on the team with 60 points scored … Named second team All-Southern Conference by both the league’s head coaches and media as a return specialist on special teams and was also selected to the Southern Conference All-Freshman team both on offense and special teams … Recorded a career-high 207 all-purpose yards in a home win over Brevard (Sept. 6) with 99 on kickoff returns, 88 on the ground and 20 through the air … Garnered SoCon Special Teams Player of the Week plaudits after returning the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown in the home win over Wofford (Oct. 11), finishing with 180 all-purpose yards … Collected SoCon Freshman of the Week honors after compiling 154 all-purpose yards with 123 yards rushing and two TDs against The Citadel … Playing for the Gold squad, rushed 11 times for 33 yards and caught a pass for 14 yards in WCU’s annual Spring Game.

2013 (Freshman): Joined the WCU football team for spring drills ... Led all running backs with 39 yards on 14 carries, fumbling once during WCU's annual Spring Game.

Prior to Western Carolina: Named the Southeastern 4-A co-Offensive Player of the Year by the Fayetteville Observer, tallying all-conference accolades ... According to NCPreps.com, rushed for over 2,000 yards on over 240 carries with 37 touchdowns as a senior ... Recorded 402 yards on the ground on 20 rushes for an average of 20.1 yards per carry, scoring six touchdowns in the 2012 season-opener against Wilmington Ashley HS ... It was the 23rd time a 400-plus yard game had been reported to the NCHSAA ... Also ran track & field as a prep.

Personal: Full name is Jermine Detrez Newsome ... Is the son of Yolanda Newsome.


Courtesy WCU Athletics Media Relations

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