Friday, July 31, 2020

2020 Football Preseason Preview: Wofford Terriers






Throughout this preseason, Purple & Gold will preview all of Western's 2020 football opponents.

For the eighth game of the season, the Cats return to Cullowhee to face the Wofford Terriers.

Western faces the Terriers for the forty-third time since 1952.





Game #8 - Wofford



When: Saturday, October 31 at TBA
Where: E.J. Whitmire Stadium, Cullowhee, NC 
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
TV / video: TBA

The Series: The Cats are 15-27 overall against the Terriers in a series that started in 1952, The Cats Terriers have played a total of 42 times, and Western has lost three in a row to the Terriers.

Games that will be played by the Bulldogs this season prior to the WCU contest:  (6 games)  The Terriers open the season in Traveler's Rest against the Furman Paladins, before returning to Spartanburg to face The Citadel and Mercer on back to back weekends. Wofford then travels to Birmingham to face the Bulldogs of Samford, then to Chattanooga to face the Mocs, before returning home to meet VMI

The last game played vs. WoffordOctober 19, 2019 - WCU Unable to Capitalize on Quick Strike in Loss at Wofford - Spartanburg, S.C. – Quarterback Tyrie Adams threw a career-long 69-yard touchdown pass on a toss-back reverse flea flicker on the game's first play Saturday afternoon, connecting with freshman WR Jaylin Young for the early 7-0 lead for Western Carolina. However, Adams was lost to a game-ending foot injury on the second offensive series and Wofford took advantage, stymieing the Catamounts on offense in limiting WCU to just 172 total yards of offense and four first downs – only one of which came after halftime – in handing the Catamounts a 59-7 setback in Southern Conference action from Gibbs Stadium.  


Head Coach:  Josh Conklin - Josh Conklin is entering his third season as head coach of the Wofford College football team. In his first season at the helm, the Terriers won the Southern Conference Championship and reached the second round of the NCAA FCS Playoffs. Wofford announced on Tuesday, January 2, 2018, the hiring of Josh Conklin as the head football coach. Conklin, who spent the previous three seasons as the defensive coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh, was an assistant coach at Wofford from 2007-09 working with the secondary. Conklin has additional experience at Florida International, Tennessee, The Citadel and South Dakota State University, serving as the defensive coordinator at Pitt, Florida International, and The Citadel.

Last Season's Record (2019 Wofford):  8-4 overall, 4-2  home, 4-2 away, 7-1  in the SoCon.  Only conference loss was to Samford

Offensive Formation:  Triple Option
-2019 Offensive:  32.3 ppg.  (28th in FCS)
Defensive Formation:   Multiple 50
-2019 Defensive:  22.1 ppg.  (24th in FCS)
Starters returning/lost:    16  /  9
Offensive starters - Returning/Lost:  2  /  9
Defensive starters - Returning/Lost:  7  /  4
Specialist - Returning/Lost:  2  /  1
Lettermen - Returning/Lost:  47  /  23
2019 Postseason: FCS Playoffs First Round
Final 2019 National Rankings: 17

The defending SoCon champions Wofford won the 2019 Southern Conference Championship for the seventh time in program history, and the Terriers have claimed a portion of the SoCon trophy for the last three seasons. The Terriers are ranked in the top 25 preseason by Athlon (#22).

The Terriers only have 2 returning starters from last season, so there may be a big impact on their triple option.  The Terriers do however return 7 starters on defense.

TOP RETURNING OFFENSIVE PLAYERS
-WR TJ Luther (19 rec., 447 yards, 3 TD)
-RB Jacquez Allen (52 rushes, 528 yards, 4 TD)
-RB D'mauriae VanCleave (33 rushes, 260 yards, 3 TD, 23 rec., 362 yards, 3 TD)

TOP RETURNING DEFENSIVE PLAYERS
-LB Joe Beckett (50 tackles, 4.0 TFL, 3.0 sacks, 1 PBU)
-LB John Beckley (46 tackles, 4.0 TFL, 1.0 sacks, 2 PBU)
-DL Michael Mason (40 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 7.0 sacks, 1 forced fumble)


2019 Wofford Statistics
Rushing Offense: 3669 yards
Yards per game: 305.8
Yards per rush: 6.0 yards
Rushing 1st downs: 171
TDs rushing: 42
Passing Offense: 1290 yards or 107.5 yards per game
Avg. per pass: 8.5 yards
Passing 1st downs: 54
Passing Comp-Att-Int: 84-151-6
TDs Passing: 8
Total Offense: 4959 yards or 413.2
3d Down Conversions: 69-153
4th Down Conversions: 14-16
Field Goal: 10 of 12
On-side kicks: 0-1
Red Zone Scores: 43 of 46 for  93%
Red Zone Touchdowns: 34 of 46 for 74%
Avg per punt:  39.9 yrds


Game prediction: Per the Massey Ratings, the Cats have only a 12% probability of winning (17 - 35) over the Terriers.





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34 Days 'till WCU Football Kickoff - #34 Ezekiel Jennette









It's now 34 days until the kickoff of Catamount football on Thursday, September 3th, 2020 at 7 pm, against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels, in Roy Kid Stadium, Richmond, KY.

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, and knowledgeable of the team members, we'll continue the football countdown each day until kickoff day.

Today we'll highlight a defensive end:


#34 Ezekiel Jennette








POSITION Defensive End
HEIGHT 5-11
WEIGHT 235
CLASS Redshirt Junior
HOMETOWN Durham, N.C.
COLLEGE  NC State
HIGH SCHOOL Southern Durham HS










2019 (Redshirt Sophomore): Played in all 12 of the team’s games on the season with four starts between linebacker and defensive line … Credited with 10 tackles on the season including five solo stops and one tackle for loss coming on a sack … Matched a career-high with two tackles twice coming at Chattanooga (Sept. 28) and at home against Samford (Nov. 16) … Forced a fumble in the home overtime win over ETSU (Nov. 9) … Named 2019 Fall Academic All-Southern Conference.

2018 (Redshirt Freshman): Played in all 11 games as a defensive reserve along the line, as well as on special teams … Finished with five tackle assists on the year … Made his WCU and collegiate debut in the season-opener against Newberry (Sept. 1) … Credited with his first career tackle against Chattanooga (Oct. 13) … Twice posted a career-high of two tackles at Mercer (Oct. 20) and against Wofford (Nov. 10) ... Named to the 2018-19 Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll.

Prior to Western Carolina: Transferred to WCU from North Carolina State during the summer of 2018 ... Did not see game action at NCSU in 2017;

High School: Attended Durham Tech before N.C. State ... Was a Big 8 all-conference performer on defense as a prep ... Recorded 50+ tackles as a senior including a team-high eight sacks.





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Thursday, July 30, 2020

35 Days 'till WCU Football Kickoff - #35 Justin Matthews









It's now 35 days until the kickoff of Catamount football on Thursday, September 3th, 2020 at 7 pm, against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels, in Roy Kid Stadium, Richmond, KY.

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, and knowledgeable of the team members, we'll continue the football countdown each day until kickoff day.

Today we'll highlight a wide receiver:


 #35 Justin Matthews






POSITION Wide Receive
HEIGHT 6-0
WEIGHT 175
CLASS Resshirt Freshman
HOMETOWN Gibsonville, N.C.
HIGH SCHOOL Eastern Guilford HSbr />









2019 (Freshman): Did not see game action.

Prior to Western Carolina: Two-way starter on both offense and defense playing varsity for three seasons ... As a senior, caught 26 passes for 497 yards and seven touchdowns adding 60 rushing yards and a score ... Earned Rotary Club of Greensboro Player of the Week in 2018, recording three touchdowns including two receiving and one rushing with 115 receiving yards and 25 on the ground ... Also played basketball and ran track as a prep.





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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

WOW - Looking Good !!!!!!


37 Days 'till WCU Football Kickoff - #37 Ty Harris









It's now 37 days until the kickoff of Catamount football on Thursday, September 3th, 2020 at 7 pm, against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels, in Roy Kid Stadium, Richmond, KY.

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, and knowledgeable of the team members, we'll continue the football countdown each day until kickoff day.

Today we'll highlight a linebacker 


#37 Ty Harris





POSITION Linebacker
HEIGHT 6-1
WEIGHT 245
CLASS Senior
HOMETOWN Dacula, Ga.
HIGH SCHOOL Dacula HS










2019 (Junior): Started all 12 seasonal games at linebacker … Led the Catamounts in tackles in 2019 finishing with a career-best 109 total hits including 45 solo hits and 7.0 tackles for loss ... Ranked fourth in the SoCon with 106 tackles and an average of 8.8 tackles per game … Credited with two quarterback hurries … Posted four double-digit tackle games including a career-high 17 at home against Samford (Nov. 16) ... Claimed SoCon Defensive Player of the Week honors after posting 11 tackles including 4.0 TFLs in the overtime victory over ETSU (Nov. 9) … Recovered a fumble to accompany eight tackles against nationally-ranked Alabama (Nov. 23) in the season finale … Named second-team All-Southern Conference by the league’s voting media.

2018 (Sophomore): Started 10 of WCU’s 11 games on the year, missing the season-opener against Newberry … Finished the year ranked fourth on the Catamount defense with 87 total tackles including 46 solo stops and five tackles for loss with a pair of sacks … His 8.7 tackle per game average ranked him fourth in the Southern Conference … Tallied double-digit tackles four times on the season, credited with a single-game career-high 14 on the road at Samford (Oct. 6) … Had 11 stops against Chattanooga (Oct. 13), The Citadel (Nov. 3), and at North Carolina (Nov. 17) … Credited with three QB hurries … Also recorded a pair of interceptions coming in the road games at Furman (Sept. 29) and Samford (Oct. 6), returning both nine yards for a total of 18 yards on the year … Named to the Sophomore All-America team by HERO Sports.

2017 (Freshman): Saw action in all 12 of the team's games on the season on special teams and as a defensive substitution ... Recorded 18 tackles on the season including 12 solo stops with half a tackle for loss ... Made his collegiate debut on the road at Hawai'i (Sept. 2) with his first career tackle coming in the home-opener against Davidson (Sept. 9) ... Posted a career-best three tackles twice - in the road win at Chattanooga (Sept. 30) and in the season-finale against FBS-foe, North Carolina (Nov. 18) ... Made two tackles including half a tackle for loss in the home win over nationally-ranked Samford (Sept. 23).

Prior to Western Carolina: Was highly recruited, originally committed and signed with Army West Point ... Was a running back and outside linebacker as a prep ... Named Honorable Mention All-State in Georgia's Class AAAAAA as a senior ... Rushed for over 1,000 yards with eight touchdowns as a senior ... Also finished with 70 tackles including 43 solo stops as a senior with five tackles for loss including three sacks ... Was a two-star recruit by both Rivals.com and 247Sports.

Personal: Full name is Paul Tyreon Harris ... Is the son of Kisemee and Paul Harris.












Monday, July 27, 2020

Nine Catamounts Recognized by Phil Steele in Preseason


Four Catamounts – seniors Grady Thomas and Ty Harris, junior Jayden Pauling, and sophomore Isaiah Helms – highlighted WCU's honorees by collecting first-team preseason honors. Senior WR Daquan Patten and defensive classmate Michael Murphy were dubbed second-team, while senior TE Owen Cosenke, redshirt sophomore OL Tyler Smith, and junior DB Ronald Kent rounded out WCU's selections on the third team.



38 Days 'till WCU Football Kickoff - Arketa Banks










It's now 38 days until the kickoff of Catamount football on Thursday, September 3th, 2020 at 7 pm, against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels, in Roy Kid Stadium, Richmond, KY.

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, and knowledgeable of the team members, we'll continue the football countdown each day until kickoff day.

Since no one is currently assigned to #37, we'll highlight assistant coach Arketa Banks



Arketa Banks






POSITION Assistant Coach / WRs
HOMETOWN Warrenton, N.C.
ALMA MATER Elon
GRADUATING YEAR 2003











A Western Carolina assistant football coach from 2009-12, Arketa Banks has returned to Mark Speir's Catamount football coaching staff. Banks, who was initially retained by Speir upon his hire in 2011, returns to Cullowhee after spending the 2018 season on staff at Gardner-Webb where he coached the running backs and tight ends, continuing that role in his new appointment.

“We’re thrilled to have Arketa and his family back as a part of our Catamount football family,” said Speir on the addition of Banks to his coaching staff. “He is an outstanding recruiter, football coach, and mentor for our young men. He understands our culture and will promote the vision of our football program and this university. We are so happy that he is back in the Purple & Gold.”

Banks – who Speir coached as a player during three seasons at Elon – returns to again lead the Catamount running backs and will add the tight ends. He coached that same position for three of his previous four seasons on the WCU sidelines, mentoring 2009 Southern Conference Freshman of the Year in Catamount RB Michael Johnson. During his first stint in Cullowhee, he also served as the team’s community service liaison and assistant director of camps and clinics.

During his first stop in Cullowhee, three Catamount running backs collected SoCon All-Freshman honors including Johnson, Shaun Warren (2011) and Darius Ramsey (2012). Ramsey went on to collect first-team Academic All-America honors in 2014. WCU’s offensive scoring on the ground increased from seven TDs in Banks’ second season in 2010 to a dozen in 2011 and 22 in 2012 – which was the most since WCU rushed for 25 TDs in 2001.

After leaving WCU, Banks coached at NCAA Division II powerhouse Lenoir-Rhyne for five seasons from 2013-17 where he was the slotbacks coach in 2013-2014 and wide receivers’ coach from 2015-17. Under his tutelage during the 2014 season, the Bears’ slotbacks rushed for a school and D-II national-record 416.2 yards per game. Seniors, Chris Robinson and Jarrod Spears earned all-league and all-region honors under Banks’ watchful eye as Robinson rushed for 1,418 yards, the most by an L-R back in 20 years, earning NCAA Division II All-American honors. The Bears went 11-1 in 2014 and finished the season ranked No. 8 in the nation.

While at Lenoir-Rhyne, Banks also served as the Director of High School Relations and In-State Recruiting for the Bears.

A heralded defensive back and track & field standout, Banks got his start in coaching at his alma mater, Warren County High School in Warrenton, N.C., in 2004 as the junior varsity head coach, taking over at the varsity level in 2005. It was in the latter year that he posted a 6-5 record and mentored QB Victor Hunt to the NCC Player of the Year honor. He also coached prep football at Wakefield High in Raleigh in 2006-07, coaching defensive backs and quarterbacks.

He earned his first collegiate coaching position at Brevard College in 2008 coaching the defensive secondary and was the program’s recruiting coordinator before making his first move to Cullowhee prior to the 2009 season.

A 2003 graduate of Elon, Banks was a four-year letter and an All-Big South Conference performer on the football gridiron, collecting second-team plaudits as a receiver and a kick returner in 2002. During his career with the then option-oriented Phoenix between 1999 and 2002, Banks helped establish the program as one of the top independents in NCAA Division FCS before Elon’s first season in the Big South in 2002, receiving team MVP honors in 2001 after catching 22 passes for an average of 24.5 yards per reception with six touchdowns.

Going into his senior year at Elon, The Sports Network (now STATS FCS) deemed Banks the “fifth-best kick returner” in NCAA Division I-AA (now FCS) football after earning All-Independent as a return specialist in 2001. During his career, he led Elon in receiving from 2000-2002, amassing 1,371 yards on 54 catches with 17 receiving touchdowns.

Banks and his wife, the former Ms. Latora Pettaway of Henderson, N.C., were married during the summer of 2009. The couple has three children; Shymia, Kimora, and Arketa, II.




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Sunday, July 26, 2020

39 Days 'till WCU Football Kickoff - #39 Julian Pletz









It's now 39 days until the kickoff of Catamount football on Thursday, September 3th, 2020 at 7 pm, against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels, in Roy Kid Stadium, Richmond, KY. To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, and knowledgeable of the team members, we'll continue the football countdown each day until kickoff day.


Today we'll highlight a kicker


#39 Julian Pletz







POSITION Kicker
HEIGHT 5-10
WEIGHT 190
CLASS Redshirt Sophomore
HOMETOWN Liberty Township, Ohio
HIGH SCHOOL Edgewood HS








2019 (Redshirt Freshman): Appeared in 10 of the team’s 12 games on the season … Led the Catamounts in scoring with 40 total points, connecting on 8-of-11 (72.7%) of his field-goal attempts and connected on all 16 PATs … Also kicked off 25 times for 1,311 total yards, averaging 52.4 yards per kick with one touchback … Connected on three PATS against Gardner-Webb (Oct. 5) … Recorded his first successful field goal at The Citadel (Oct. 12), hitting a 32-yarder … Received Southern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week honors after going 3-for-3 on field goals including a career-long 44-yarder, adding a career-best 4-for-4 on PATs in the road win at VMI (Nov. 2) … Matched his career-long field goal with a 44-yarder as a part of a 2-for-2 output against Samford (Nov. 16) … Credited with two solo tackles … Selected to the coaches Southern Conference All-Freshman team on special teams … Named to the 2019-20 Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll.

2018 (Freshman): Played in three games on the year on special teams … Finished the year with a pair of successful PATs (2-for-2) with one missed field goal (0-for-1) … Scored his first career point on a PAT at Gardner-Webb (Sept. 14) while also having a field goal attempt partially blocked … Also scored a PAT at Furman (Sept. 29) ... Named to the 2018-19 Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll.

Prior to Western Carolina: Is a left-footed placekicker ... As a senior was a first-team all-league and All-Journal player and a second-team All-Southwest Ohio selection ... Was a part of back-to-back conference championship teams at Edgewood HS ... Through his first three years of high school, scored 129 points including 63 points as a junior to earn special mention on the All-Southwest Ohio team ... Connected on 111-of-116 on PATs and 6-of-9 on field goals ... High school football coach was Scott Clemmons ... Also played soccer as a prep.

Personal: Full name is Julian Bryce Pletz.




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Saturday, July 25, 2020

40 Days 'till WCU Football Kickoff - Imarjaye Albury











It's now 40 days until the kickoff of Catamount football on Thursday, September 3th, 2020 at 7 pm, against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels, in Roy Kid Stadium, Richmond, KY.

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, and knowledgeable of the team members, we'll continue the football countdown each day until kickoff day.

No one is assigned to the #40, so we'll highlight another assistant coach


Imarjaye Albury






POSITION Asst, Coach/Defensive Ends


In January 2020, Western Carolina head football coach Mark Speir announced the addition of Imarjaye Albury Sr. (pronounced e-MAR-jay AL-berry) to his defensive coaching staff.

Albury spent the past season working as a defensive graduate assistant in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) at Arkansas, and will coach the Catamount defensive ends.  Veteran assistant coach Reuben Wright, who coached the defensive line a season ago, will lead the defensive tackles while Albury will work primarily with the defensive ends.

"We are extremely happy to have such an energetic rising star in the coaching profession join our staff," said Speir. "Imarjaye has been a winner at every level of football. He's a coach who has a reputation of demanding excellence while developing great relationships with his players. He will be a phenomenal recruiter for our program. I am excited about having Imarjaye along with his wife, Brittany, and son, Imarjae Jr. join our football family."

Albury makes the move to Cullowhee after nearly two full years in Fayetteville, Ark., as the defensive graduate assistant with Razorback football working primarily with the defensive line. In addition to assisting the DL coach and defensive staff in all game planning and practice management, he aided in recruiting for the SEC program. While at Arkansas, he coached and tutored Razorback DL Armon Watts who was a sixth-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings following a seven-sack season in 2018.

Albury earned his start in the coaching profession at NCAA Division III Cortland State University in Cortland, N.Y., in 2017 working as the defensive line and special teams coach. Under his tutelage, the Red Dragons recorded 31 sacks as a team in 2017, second in the Empire 8 Conference. He mentored defensive tackle, Dan Appley, to 2017 first-team All-Empire 8 Conference honors as well as NCAA Division III first-team All-America recognition. His special teams unit led the conference with six field goal blocks.

While at SUNY Cortland, he recruited parts of New York, New Jersey, and back to his roots in Florida.

After two seasons in the Empire State, Albury returned south to the Sunshine State at NAIA-member, Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Fla. During the spring of 2018, he coached the defensive line through both winter and spring conditioning and in the weight room, while also aiding in recruiting. That experience landed him the defensive graduate assistant position at Arkansas where he remained until joining the Catamount football coaching staff.

In addition to his collegiate coaching stops, Albury also spent 2019 training camp working with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in the Canadian Football League as a guest coach. He worked as an assistant to the defensive line coach on the defensive staff in every aspect of the game including planning, film study, and on-field drills. He also spent time working with the Tiger-Cats special teams in on-field practice drills during the preseason camp.

Originally a three-star recruit out of high school, Albury was signed by West Virginia out of Miami Northwestern High in Florida. After a season in Morgantown, he returned to his home state of Florida, transferring to Florida International where he was a three-year starter along the defensive front for the Panthers. Albury, who finished with 76 career tackles over 36 games at FIU with 5.5 TFLs and 2.5 sacks, was voted a team captain his senior season and earned the team's 2016 Defensive MVP award.

Selected to play in the stringent NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Albury had brief stints in the National Football league before jumping into the coaching ranks, spending time in NFL camp with both the Green Bay Packers and the Los Angeles Chargers.

Albury is married to the former Ms. Brittany Foster; the couple has a three-year-old son, Imarjaye Albury, Jr., who goes by "Junior."






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Friday, July 24, 2020

2020 Football Preseason Preview: Samford Bulldogs







Throughout this preseason, Purple & Gold will preview all of Western's 2020 football opponents.

For the season's seventh game, the Cats are on the road for the second week, as they travel to
Birmingham for the fourth conference game

Since Samford joined the Southern Conference in 2008, Western is 3-14 against the Bulldogs after last season's 31-13 beatdown by the Dogs in Cullowhee.







Game #7 - Samford


When: Saturday, October 24 - Time  TBA
Where: Seibert Stadium, Homewood, AL
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
TV/video: TBA

The Series: The Cats are 3-14 overall against the Bulldogs since winning the first outing back in 1969. Samford owned an eleven game winning streak against Western until 2015 when the Cats broke that streak in Cullowhee with a 56-36 win over the Dogs. The Cats are 1-8 in games played in Birmingham. Coach Speir is 2-6 as a head coach vs. Samford.

Games that will be played by the Bulldogs this season before the WCU contest:  (6 games)  - The Bulldogs will have played 6 games before the Cats visit Homewood.  The Bulldogs open the season at home against Tenn Tech, before a two-game road trip, first to Florida State, then on to ETSU in Johnson City.   Then, it's back home to face Wofford, before hitting the road for two more games, first at Kennesaw State, then to Traveler's Rest to face the Paladins.

Last game played vs. Samford: November 16, 2019 - Catamount Football Senior Day Spoiled by Samford, 31-13  Cullowhee, N.C. – Western Carolina struck early in its home finale on Saturday afternoon, jumping out to a 10-0 lead over Samford in the first quarter. However, the usual aerial Bulldog attack was traded for a run-heavy, ball-control effort as back-up QB Liam Welch guided Samford to 24-unanswered points as the visitors outscored WCU 31-3 over the final three frames, spoiling WCU's Senior Day with the 31-13 victory in Southern Conference action at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field.


Head Coach: Chris Hatcher Chris Hatcher was named Samford’s 36th head football coach on Dec. 11, 2014. Entering his sixth season at Samford in 2020, Hatcher boasts a career record of 153-83 in 20 years as a college head coach, having previously coached at Murray State, Georgia Southern and Valdosta State. In his time at Samford, his team's have consistently been among the Southern Conference and FCS leaders in several categories. In 2019, the Bulldogs led all of FCS football in punt return average (19.41 ypr.), and the team ranked second nationally in fewest penalties per game (3.58). Samford also led the SoCon in first downs (22.6 pg.), and the team ranked second in the league in scoring offense (32.2 ppg.) and passing offense (239.2 ypg.)..

Last Season's Record - 2019 (Samford): 5-7 overall, 3-2 home, 2-4 away,  4-4 SoCon  -  In 2019, the Bulldogs had wins over,  Wofford, Alabama A&M, the Citadel, ETSU & Western Carolina.  Samford ended the season in a three-way tie for fourth place in the conference.

Offensive Formation: Multiple
-2019 Offense: 32.3 ppg. (28th in FCS)
Defensive Formation: 4-3
-2019 Defense: 37.8 ppg. (117th in FCS)
Offensive starters - Returning/Lost:  6  /  5
Defensive starters - Returning/Lost:  8  /  3

TOP RETURNING OFFENSIVE PLAYERS
-QB Chris Oladokun (169 cmp., 2,064 yards, 18 TD, 127 rushes, 493 yards, 8 TD)
-RB Jay Stanton (122 rushes, 690 yards, 7 TD, 16 rec., 135 yards, 2 TD)
-WR Montrell Washington (28 rec., 405 yards, 3 TD, 155 Kick Return Yards, 328 Punt Return Yards)

TOP RETURNING DEFENSIVE PLAYERS
-LB John Staton (116 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 1 Fumble Recovery)
-LB Nathan East (82 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 4 QB hurries, 3 PBU, 1 Fumble Recovery)
-DB Ty Herring (73 tackles, 1 PBU, 1 INT)

Nine Samford players were named to Phil Steele's preseason All-SoCon teams. Samford had four players named to the first team, with Armond Lloyd (DL), John Staton (LB), Mitchell Fineran (PK) and Montrell Washington (PR) earning first-team nods. Washington was also named second team as both a wide receiver and all-purpose performer. The other second team members were Mike Williams (OL) and Bradley Porcellato (P). Samford's third team members were Chris Oladokun (QB), Jai'Rus Creamer (WR) and Nathan East (LB). Montrell Washington was named first team preseason All-American as a punt returner by Phil Steele.

2019 Samford Statistics
Rushing Offense: 1974 yards
Yards per game: 164.5
Yards per rush: 4.0 yards
Rushing 1st downs: 135
TDs rushing: 22
Passing Offense: 2870 yards or 239 yards per game
Passing 1st downs: 119
Passing Comp-Att-Int: 248-415-14
TDs Passing: 24
Total Offense: 4844 yards or 403.7 yards per game
Fumbles-Lost: 22 - 10
3d Down Conversions: 68 of 172
4th Down Conversions: 23 of 34
Field goal attempts:  15 - 21
PAT-Attempts:  46 of 47
Red Zone Scores: 44 of 55 - 80%
Red Zone Touchdowns: 33 of 55 - 60%
On-Side Kicks:  0 - 1
Penalties-Yards:  43 - 408- Avg. per gm 34
Punts-Yards: 44 - 1768 - Avg. per gm 40.2
Sacks:  16


Game prediction:  Per the Massey Ratings, the Cats have a 22% probability of winning (27-38) against the Bulldogs.





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41 Days 'till WCU Football Kickoff - #41 Cinsere Allison









It's now 41 days until the kickoff of Catamount football on Thursday, September 3th, 2020 at 7 pm, against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels, in Roy Kid Stadium, Richmond, KY.

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, and knowledgeable of the team members, we'll continue the football countdown each day until kickoff day.

Today we'll highlight a safety


#41 Cinsere Allison







POSITION Defensive Back
HEIGHT 6-0
WEIGHT 185
CLASS Redshirt Sophomore
HOMETOWN Kannapolis, N.C.
HIGH SCHOOL A.L. Brown HS












2019 (Redshirt Freshman): Played in 10 of the team’s 11 games as a defensive substitution in the secondary and on special teams … Credited with seven total tackles including three solo stops and half a tackle for loss at N.C. State (Sept. 7) … Posted a career-best four tackles against N.C. State … Tallied a career-best two solo tackles in the season-finale at Alabama (Nov. 23).

2018 (Freshman): Saw action in one game, making his collegiate debut in the regular-season finale at North Carolina (Nov. 17) … Was not credited with any statistics ... Used a redshirt.

Prior to Western Carolina: Played football and ran track as a prep at A.L. Brown High ... Three-year letter winner in football as a defensive safety ... Was an All-MECKA 4A conference selection and a first-team member of the Independent Tribune’s Football Dream Team in 2015 ... Played in the North Carolina Coaches Association 2017 East-West All-Star game, returning a blocked field goal 50 yards for a touchdown ... Ranked tied for 10th in A.L. Brown’s track & field record book in the high jump (5’8”) set in 2016... Received both the Keith Black Scholarship and Booster Club Scholarship as a high school senior.

Personal: Full name is Cincere NazĂ© Allison ... Is the son of the late Roshunda Smith ... Has a sister, Anygha ... Named after one of the main characters, Sincere, in the hip-hop film, “Belly.”




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Thursday, July 23, 2020

42 Days 'till WCU Football Kickoff - #42 Jontavious Shotwell










It's now 42 days until the kickoff of Catamount football on Thursday, September 3th, 2020 at 7 pm, against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels, in Roy Kid Stadium, Richmond, KY.

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, and knowledgeable of the team members, we'll continue the football countdown each day until kickoff day.

Today we'll highlight a safety


#42 Jontavious Shotwell





POSITION Defensive Back
HEIGHT 5-11
WEIGHT 175
CLASS Redshirt Sophomore
HOMETOWN Hoschton, Ga.
HIGH SCHOOL Mill Creek HS










2019 (Redshirt Freshman): Appeared in three games on the season, each on special teams and as a defensive substitution … Credited with his first career tackle with an assist in the season finale at Alabama (Nov. 23).

2018 (Freshman): Only credited with playing in one game, making his collegiate debut at Samford (Oct. 6) but did not record any statistics … Remains eligible for a redshirt.

Prior to Western Carolina: Three-year varsity letter winner in football ... Recorded 36 tackles as a senior, breaking up 11 passes with one interception ... Also forced a fumble ... Also ran track as a prep, competing in the 100 and 200-meter individual races, as well as on the 4x100-meter relay, while also competing in the high jump.



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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The new turf


43 Days 'till WCU Football Kickoff - #43 Luke Hoggard









It's now 43 days until the kickoff of Catamount football on Thursday, September 3th, 2020 at 7 pm, against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels, in Roy Kid Stadium, Richmond, KY.

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, and knowledgeable of the team members, we'll continue the football countdown each day until kickoff day.

Today we'll highlight a tight end


#43 Luke Hoggard








POSITION Tight End/Running Back
HEIGHT 6-0
WEIGHT 220
CLASS Redshirt Junior
HOMETOWN Edenton, N.C.
HIGH SCHOOL John A. Holmes HS











2019 (Redshirt Sophomore): Played in seven games on the season as a reserve on offense and on special teams … Appeared in four-straight games to conclude the season … Did not record any official statistics.

2018 (Redshirt Freshman): Only played in one game on special teams, suiting up against his former team at North Carolina (Nov. 17) in his WCU debut ... Named to the 2018-19 Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll.

Prior to Western Carolina: Transferred to WCU from North Carolina after attending UNC as a walk-on ... Did not see game action ...

High School: Recorded 2,341 career passing yards and 26 touchdowns through the air as a two-year starter ... Helped guide his high school team to the state championship game as a senior ... Named all-conference and all-area as a senior ... Threw for 667 yards and eight TDs while rushing for 484 yards and six TDs as a senior ... Played for the winning East All-Stars in the 2017 North Carolina Coaches Association (NCCA) East-West All-Star game, completing 4-of-7 passes for 70 yards ... Also played baseball and basketball as a prep, helping Holmes High to a baseball state championship.




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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

44 Days 'till WCU Football Kickoff - #44 Nigel Manns








It's now 44 days until the kickoff of Catamount football on Thursday, September 3th, 2020 at 7 pm, against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels, in Roy Kid Stadium, Richmond, KY.

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, and knowledgeable of the team members, we'll continue the football countdown each day until kickoff day.

Today we'll highlight a linebacker



#44 Nigel Manns




POSITION Linebacker
HEIGHT 6-1
WEIGHT 220
CLASS True Freshman
HOMETOWN Byron, Ga.
HIGH SCHOOL Peach County HS




Prior to Western Carolina: Two-way player as a prep as a linebacker and a running back … Listed among the top 130 high school prospects in Georgia by SouthernPigskin.com … Was a Region 4-AAA honorable mention all-region selection in 2018 … High school coach was Chad Campbell … Also ran track as a prep.

Personal: Full name is Nigel Isaiah Manns … Is the son of Chandra and Emmerson Manns … His brother, Ethan, plays football at Shorter College. Footer




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