Western Carolina 2017 National Signing Day
Catamount football fans can follow all of the excitement of the 2017 National Signing Day on Wednesday, Feb. 1, by visiting CatamountSports.com, the official website of Western Carolina athletics. As the National Letters of Intent (NLI) are signed and approved, updated player information and student-athlete bios will be made available online.
2016 Catamount Football Incoming Class:
|Name||Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||Hometown (Previous School)|
|Andrew Askew||WR||6-1||190 lbs.||LaGrange, Ga. (LaGrange HS)|
|Matthew Bair||OL||6-4||275 lbs.||Anderson, S.C. (T.L. Hanna HS)|
|John Brannon III||DB||6-2||180 lbs.||Charlotte, N.C. (South Mecklenburg HS)|
|Bailey Byrum||OL||6-7||310 lbs.||Sweetwater, Tenn. (Sweetwater HS)|
|Devarius Cortner||DB||6-1||185 lbs.||Nashville, Tenn. (East Nashville Magnet HS)|
|Holden Edwards||DT||6-2||295 lbs.||Mount Ulla, N.C. (South Iredell HS)|
|Lavell Ellerbe||WR||6-3||195 lbs.||Rockingham, N.C. (Richmond Senior HS)|
|Shamon Elliott||DB||6-0||185 lbs.||Fayetteville, N.C. (Terry Sanford HS)|
|Jake Helms||DT||6-2||290 lbs.||Mooresville, N.C. (Lake Norman HS)|
|Aaron Maddox||DB||6-2||185 lbs.||North Augusta, S.C. (North Augusta HS)|
|Michael Murphy||DB||6-2||180 lbs.||Spartanburg, S.C. (Spartanburg HS)|
|Aubry Payne||TE||6-4||235 lbs.||Locust Grove, Ga. (Locust Grove HS)|
|Donnavan Spencer||RB||5-10||185 lbs.||Charlotte, N.C. (Vance HS)|
|Connell Young||RB||6-0||200 lbs.||Greensboro, N.C. (Dudley HS)|
WCU Retired Football Jerseys and Numbers
The first football player to have his number retired, was also the first football player selected as an All-American at Western Carolina. He played guard on both the offense and defense (imagine that today), and was a member of the Catamount team to win their first North State Conference title, and the same team holds the honor of earning the first postseason bid, a visit to the Smoky Mountain Bowl in Bristol, Virginia.
His retired number - #54, his name is Art Bird (1946-49).
The second Catamount to have his football number retired was also selected as an All-American (AP & AFCA), and also earned selection as an All-American in two other sports, Baseball and Track & Field. This individual remains the only three sport All-American in Western Carolina history. Over his career, he established over 40 football records, and was selected as the North Carolina College Athlete of the Year in 1975.
His retired number - #23, his name is Jerry Gaines (1970-1975).
The third and final Catamount to have his football number retired is probably the most honored football player in Western's football history. Named All-Conference 4 times, he remains Western's and the SoCon's only 3 time All-American selection (1984-86-87). He owned 5 NCAA 1-AA kicking records, 10 Southern Conference records, and 18 Western Carolina records as well as having the distinction of WCU's highest NFL draft selection, fifth by the Buffalo Bills in 1987. Kicked 71 field goals (11 of which were 50 or more yards) and only missed one (1) extra point attempt in four seasons.
His retired number - #14, his name is Kirk Roach (1984-87).