Sunday, July 21, 2024

39 Days Until WCU Football Kickoff - #39 Julian Quintero



It's now 39 days until the kickoff of Catamount Football on Thursday, August 29, 2024, against the NC State Wolfpack in Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC 

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful a little 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 will highlight a defensive safety:

39  Julian Quintero







Position: Safety
Height: 6-0
Weight: 190
Class: Freshman
Hometown: St. Augustine, Fla.
High School: St. Augustine HS





Prior to Western Carolina: Named first-team All-County defense as a senior … Recorded 112 tackles including two TFLs and a forced fumble as a senior … Part of a 13-1 state runner-up in his final season … Played football, basketball, and ran track as a prep … Started his high school career at Pedro Menendez HS.

Personal: Full name is Julian Andros Quintero ... Is the son of Barbara and Thomas Hornsby ... Has two siblings - older, Barbara and younger Tomilynn ... Father played college football at Brown University.







Saturday, July 20, 2024

40 Days Until WCU Football Kickoff - #40 Cory Hennings



It's now 40 days until the kickoff of Catamount Football on Thursday, August 29, 2024, against the NC State Wolfpack in Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC 

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful a little 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 will highlight a defensive safety:

Cory Hennings










Position: Safety
Height: 6-1
Weight: 210
Class Redshirt: Junior
Hometown: Matthews, N.C.
High School: Weddington HS









2023 (Redshirt Sophomore): Saw action in six of the team’s 11 games on the season, all coming as a reserve on defense and on special teams … Played in three road and three home games on the season… Did not record any official statistics.

2022 (Redshirt Freshman): Played in all 11 games on special teams and as a defensive reserve … Finished the season with five tackles including half a tackle for loss … Recorded his first tackle of the season in the home win over Presbyterian (Sept. 17) … Credited with a career-high three tackles at Mercer (Oct. 8) … Tallied a tackle with a half tackle for loss in the home win over nationally-ranked Chattanooga (Nov. 19).

2021 (Freshman): Saw action in two games on the season, making his collegiate debut against Mercer (Oct. 9) ... Was not credited with any official statistics ... Remained eligible for a redshirt.

Friday, July 19, 2024

41 Days Until WCU Football Kickoff - #41 Drew Hollifield



It's now 41 days until the kickoff of Catamount Football on Thursday, August 29, 2024, against the NC State Wolfpack in Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC 

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful a little 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 will highlight a defensive safety:

41 Drew Hollifield







Position: Safety
Height: 5-11
Weight: 185
Class: True Freshman
Hometown: Shelby, N.C.
High School: Shelby HS






Prior to Western Carolina: As a senior, amassed 650 offensive all-purpose yards with 14 touchdowns ... Recorded 43 tackles including 8.5 tackles for loss with 3.5 sacks ... High school head coach was Mike Wilbanks at Shelby HS where he was part of the 2-A state championship team as a sophomore ... Was also a four-time all-conference performer on the basketball court as a four-year starter where he scored over 1,000 career points as a prep.

Personal: Full name is Michael Andrew Hollifield, prefers to go by Drew ... Is the son of Rhonda and Andy Hollifield ... Has two siblings, Landon and Harper ... Grandfather played football at Western Carolina ... His father played football at Appalachian State, with a pair of uncles playing at Wake Forest and App State.





Thursday, July 18, 2024

42 Days Until WCU Football Kickoff - #42 Caden Robinson



It's now 42 days until the kickoff of Catamount Football on Thursday, August 29, 2024, against the NC State Wolfpack in Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC 

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful a little 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 will highlight an offensive lineman, a tight end:

#42 Caden Robinson













Position Tight End
Height 6-3
Weight 195
Class Redshirt Freshman
Hometown Lake Junaluska, N.C.
High School Pisgah HS






2023 (Freshman)
: Did not see game action ... Named to the 2023-24 Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll.

Prior to Western Carolina: Was a member of the Pisgah football, basketball and tennis teams during his prep career ... Was a two-time All-Mountain 7 Conference performer as a forward ... Received a scholarship from the WNC Youth Football and Cheer organization in early August 2023.

Personal: Is the son of Joey Robinson, who graduated from Western Carolina.









Wednesday, July 17, 2024

WCU Preseason Preview: Game #2 - Campbell

Throughout this preseason, we will preview all of  Western Carolina's 2024 football opponents.
 
In Western Carolina's second game and home opener, the Cats host the Campbell Camels, in a "White Out Whitmire" game.  WCU will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the E.L. Whitmire Stadium.  The traditional WCU Freshmen run will take place just before kickoff and it is also the third-annual High School Band Day.

The Camels finished the 2023 season with a 5-6 overall record and  a 4-4 CAA record. 

Game #2 - Campbell Camels


When
: Saturday, September 7, 2024
Time: 2:30 pm (ET)
Where: Bob Water Field, Whitmire Stadium, Cullowhee, NC
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
   -Play-by-Play: Gary Ayers • Color Daniel Hooker • Producer: Jeff Bryson
TV / video:  ESPN+
Live Stats: WCU Live Stats
Colors: Orange and Black
Conference: Coastal Athletic Association (CAA)



The Series: This is the first meeting on the gridiron for these two teams. 

Head Coach: Braxton Harris. Campbell director of athletics Hannah Bazemore announced Braxton Harris as the Fighting Camels’ head football coach on January 2, 2024. Harris, who previously spent the 2021 and 2022 seasons on staff at Campbell, returns to Buies Creek after spending 2023 as head coach at FCS Southland Conference member Houston Christian. Harris becomes the third head coach in Campbell’s modern football history (since 2008). . 

Harris's record vs. Western Carolina: 0-0
Kerwin Bell's record vs. Campbell: 0-0

Last Season's Record - 2023 (Campbell): 5-6 overall, 1-3 home, 4-3 away, 4-4 CAA

First year head coach Braxton Harris enters the season without four-year quarterback starter Hajj-Malik Williams, who transfered to UNLV. Expected starting QB (redshirt sophomore) Chad Mascoe Jr. was held out of the spring game as a precaution, however CU’s orange squad found success multiple times, both through the air and ground.  Redshirt senior wideout Sincere Brown did most of the heavy lifting in the passing game. Brown, who sat out last season, hauled in a host of receptions, including two touchdowns. The Camel's two top returning rushers, Lamagea McDowell and NaQuari Rogers both churned their way through the defense for scores on the ground.  

Linebacker C.J. Tillman, a former Phil Steele Freshman All-American made his presence known throughout the practice game, wrecking plays in the backfield and flying to the ball like he’s done the past three years. Tillman’s led the team in tackles for two straight seasons and was just shy of 100 wrapups in 2023. Tilman joined fellow returners like Idris Williams in implementing the changes made by new defensive coordinator Eric Daniels. Williams had his hands in a few plays, none more impressive than the pick-6 that sent those wearing black into a frenzy.  





2023 Cam[bell Statistics (11 games)

Rushing Offense: 1644 yards
Yards per game: 149.5
Yards per rush: 4.1 yards
Rushing 1st downs: 101
TDs rushing: 22
Passing Offense: 2646 yards or 240.6 yards per game
Passing 1st downs: 127
Passing Att-Comp-Int: 337-235-8
TDs Passing: 20
Total Offense: 4290 yards or 390 yards per game
Fumbles - Lost:16 - 9
3d Down Conversions:  59-129 (46%)
4th Down Conversions: 10 of 19 (53%)
Field goal attempts: 5 - 11
PAT-Attempts: 39 of 42
Red Zone Scores:  39 of 46 
Red Zone Touchdowns: 36 of 46 
On-Side Kicks: 0 - 1
Penalties-Yards: 75 - 626





43 Days Until WCU Football Kickoff - #43 Walter Gibson



It's now 43 days until the kickoff of Catamount Football on Thursday, August 29, 2024, against the NC State Wolfpack in Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC 

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful a little 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 will highlight an defensive lineman:

#43 Walter Gibson










Position: Defensive Back
Height: 5-11
Weight: 190
Class: Redshirt Senior
Hometown: Apex, N.C.
High School: Apex HS









2023 (Redshirt Junior): Played in 10 of the 11 team’s games as a defensive reserve and on special teams … Credited with six total tackles on the season including four solo stops … Made his WCU debut in the season-opener at Arkansas (Sept. 2) … Recorded his first tackle on a solo stop against Charleston Southern (Sept. 23) … Tallied a career-high two tackles on solo stops in the road win at nationally-ranked Chattanooga (Oct. 7).

Prior to Western Carolina:  Monroe College


Tuesday, July 16, 2024

44 Days Until WCU Football Kickoff - #44 Isaac McLellan



It's now 45 days until the kickoff of Catamount Football on Thursday, August 29, 2024, against the NC State Wolfpack in Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC 

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful a little 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 will highlight an offensive lineman, a tight end:

#44 Isaac McLellan










Position: Tight End
Height: 6-2
Weight: 245
Class: Redshirt Sophomore
Hometown: Rock Hill, S.C.
High School: Northwestern HS









2023 (Redshirt Freshman): Played in all 11 games, mostly on special teams … Credited with two total tackles, recording his first official statistics on a tackle assist against Charleston Southern (Sept. 23) … Tallied a solo stop at nationally-ranked Chattanooga (Oct. 7) … Made the transition to tight end during WCU’s annual spring drills ... Named to the 2023-24 Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll.

2022 (Freshman): Played in four games, each as a defensive reserve during the season, remaining eligible for a redshirt … Did not record any official statistics … Made his collegiate debut in the home win over VMI (Oct. 1).

Prior to Western Carolina: Three-year varsity letter winner for head coach Page Wofford at Northwestern High ... Finished his prep career with 185 career tackles including 117 total hits with 46 solo stops as a senior, earnin all-region and all-state honors ... Recorded 10 sacks in his senior season in collecting top annual defensive lineman honors ... Finalist for the Carolina Bowl ... Was a five-time Player of the Game and a four-time Player of the Week selection in 2021 ... Earned Academic Honors all four years of high school ... Was also a two-time South Carolina state champion in wrestling as a prep.

Personal: Full name is Malcolm Isaac McLellan ... Is the son of Saron and Matt Silver ... Has a younger sister, Gabby ... Is the first person from his family to play in college.
 



Monday, July 15, 2024

45 Days Until WCU Football Kickoff - #45 Justin Wallace



It's now 45 days until the kickoff of Catamount Football on Thursday, August 29, 2024, against the NC State Wolfpack in Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC 

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful a little 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 will highlight a defensive lineman:

#45 Justin Wallace











Position: Defensive Line
Height: 6-3
Weight: 230
Class: Redshirt Sophomore
Hometown: West Palm Beach, Fla.
High School:  Killian HS








2023 (Redshirt Freshman)
: Did not see game action ... Credited with four tackles and a pair of quarterback hurries in WCU's annual Spring Game.

2022 (Freshman): Played in four games as a true freshman, remaining eligible for a redshirt … Recorded three tackles on the year … Made his collegiate debut in the season-opener at Charleston Southern (Sept. 3), recording his first career tackle … Posted a career-best two stops in the home win over Presbyterian (Sept. 17).

Prior to Western Carolina: Began his prep career at Palm Beach Central High … Recorded 81 tackles with 30 for loss and 23 sacks as a senior, helping guide his high school to a 12-1 seasonal record … Forced and recovered two fumbles and tallied an interception … Listed as a two-star prospect by Rivals.com.

Personal: Is the son of Sherelle Wallace ... Has a brother, Jaylen.


Sunday, July 14, 2024

WCU Preseason Preview: Game #1 - at NC State


Throughout this preseason, we will preview all of  Western Carolina's 2024 football opponents.

For the season's first game, the Catamounts travel to Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, NC to face the North Carolina State Wolfpack of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

The Wolfpack finished the 2023 season in third place in the ACC with a 6-2 conference record and a 9-4 overall record.

Game #1 - NC State

 When: Thursday, August 29, 2024
 Time: 7:00 pm
 WhereCarter-Finley Stadium  (56,919), Raleigh, NC
 Radio: Catamount Sports Network
     -Play-by-Play:  Gary Ayers
 TV/video:  ACC Network
 Conference:  Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)
 Enrollment: 37,873 
 Nickname: Wolfpack
 Colors: Red and White


The Series: The Wolfpack holds a perfect 7-0 record vs. the Catamounts. The two North Carolina teams last played in 2019.   

Head Coach
:  Dave Doeren - He enters the 2024 campaign with the second-longest tenure in the ACC and the seventh-longest in the Power 5 conferences. He has guided NC State to at least eight wins in five of the last six seasons, with three nine-win campaigns in that time. 

Last Season's Record - (2023): 9-3 overall, 5-2 home, 4-1 away, 0-1 neutral,  6-2 ACC

In Robert Anae's inaugural year as the Wolfpack's offensive coordinator, the team's offensive strategy took some time to solidify. However, as the season progressed, the unit found its rhythm. At times, the Wolfpack offense dominated their opponents, scoring 144 points to their opponents 77 during a five-game winning streak that sealed their regular season.

Now, with a new quarterback in Grayson McCall from Coastal Carolina and a dynamic group of wide receivers, the Pack seems ready to capitalize on their success from last season. Wideout Kevin “KC” Concepcion is expected to play a key role once more. Additionally, the Pack enhanced their threat by bringing in Ohio State transfer wideout Noah Rogers and Duke transfer running back Jordan Waters. With a strong offensive lineup across all positions, the Wolfpack offense will be formidable, making it challenging for defenses to focus on Concepcion in the slot.

The Wolfpack now face a significant challenge in their defensive strategy following the departure of linebacker Payton Wilson to the NFL. Wilson, who won the Bednarik and Butkus Awards and was a versatile defender for the Wolfpack, has left with a total of 138 tackles, including 17.5 lost.

With Wilson gone, State's defense will see some changes in its lineup. The Wolfpack will feild a fresh set of starting linebackers, and Brandon Cleveland will move into the role of starting nose tackle. The secondary, will also see a change with the return of corner Aydan White. However, White will be joined by several new players in the secondary. Additionally, coordinator Tony Gibson has brought in new defensive backs in the spring to enhance the team's depth and skill. 

NC State has produced outstanding punters over the past few seasons, and Caden Noonkester appears to be on track to extend that reputation. He leads the ACC with 71 punts for 3,022 yards, with 25 inside the 20-yard line and 11 longer than 50 yards last season. Kicker Kanoah Vinesett replaced Brayden Narveson and nailed a 48-yarder in the Wolfpack’s spring game. Long snapper Cade Davis will replace Joe Shimko, who was named the best at the position in the nation last year.

         



46 Days Until WCU Football Kickoff - #46 Paxton Robertson



It's now 46 days until the kickoff of Catamount Football on Thursday, August 29, 2024, against the NC State Wolfpack in Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC 

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful a little 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 will highlight another kicker:

#46 Paxton Robertson











Position: Kicker
Height: 6-0
Weight: 205
Class: Senior
Hometown: Knoxville, Tenn.
High School: Knoxville Catholic HS








2023 (Junior): Saw action in six of the team’s 11 games on the year, sidelined part of the season by injury … Recorded 36 kickoffs on the season for 2,063 total yards with 13 touchbacks … … Credited with a pair of solo tackles in the road win at Eastern Kentucky (Sept 16) … Kicked off a career-high 12 times with seven touchbacks in the home win over Charleston Southern (Sept. 23) … Connected on all five of his PAT attempts in WCU’s annual Spring Game ... Named to the 2023-24 Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll.

2022 (Sophomore): Played in all 11 of the team’s games on special teams, handling the primary kickoff duties … Kicked off 68 times for 3,838 yards, averaging 56.4 yards per kickoff with 29 touchbacks … Credited with one tackle on special teams coming in the season-opener at Charleston Southern (Sept. 3) … Hit a pair of PATs while just missing on a 55-yard field goal try in WCU’s annual Spring Game.

2021 (Freshman*): Saw action in 10 of WCU's 11 games on the season, primarily handling kickoff duties ... Had 42 kickoffs on the season for 2,392 total yards, averaging 57.0 yards per kick with 13 touchbacks ... Also punted four times on the year for an average of 34.5 yards per punt ... Finished 0-for-2 on field goal attempts with both attempts coming from beyond 40 yards -- a 56-yard attempt in the season-opener against Eastern Kentucky (Sept. 4) and a 41-yard attempt against ETSU (Nov. 13) ... Credited with two total tackles on the season, on apiece against Samford (Sept. 18) and at Gardner-Webb (Sept. 25) ... Named to the 2021-22 Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll.

2020-21 (Freshman): Played in all nine games on the year on special teams, assuming the duties of first-team punter in the spring semester … Named to the Southern Conference All-Freshman team … Connected on both of his field goal attempts (2-for-2) including a career-long 52-yarder at Eastern Kentucky (Nov. 21) and a 40-yarder at North Carolina (Dec. 5) … Punted 34 times for an average of 39.5 yards per kick … Had four punts of 50+ yards including a career-long 58-yard punt against VMI (March 6) … Named Southern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week and STATS Perform FCS Special Teams Player of the Week after punting a career-high eight times with a 43.0 average at Furman (Feb. 20) … Downed 12 of his 34 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line … Kicked off 29 times for an average of 59.7 yards per kick with a pair of touchbacks ... Named to the 2020-21 Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll.

Prior to Western Carolina: Four-year varsity letter winner as a kicker and a punter … Was a two-time All-State selection … Averaged over 39.5 yards per punt and pinned opposing teams inside the 20-yard line four times as a senior … Connected on 45-of-47 PATs and 5-of-9 field goals in 2019 … Named first-team defense on the 2019 All-PrepXtra football team … As a sophomore, set a Tennessee state record for most consecutive extra points in a season (59) … Attended Chris Sailer Kicking where he received a four-and-a-half-star ranking.

Personal: Is the son of Beth and Owen Robertson.



Saturday, July 13, 2024

47 Days Until WCU Football Kickoff - #47 Blue Monroe



It's now 47 days until the kickoff of Catamount Football on Thursday, August 29, 2024, against the NC State Wolfpack in Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC 

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful a little 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 will highlight a defensive linebacker:

#47 Blue Monroe









Position: Linebacker
Height: 6-1
Weight: 235
Class: Redshirt Sophomore
Hometown: Concord, N.C.
High School: Jay M. Robinson HS










2023 (Redshirt Freshman): Played in all 11 of the team’s games, mostly on special teams and as a reserve on defense … Credited with 11 total tackles including five solo stops … Had two tackles for nine yards in losses including half a sack, adding a quarterback hurry … Posted tackles in six of the 11 games on the year … Recorded with two tackles at Arkansas (Sept. 2) with a pair of solo stops including a tackle for loss against Mercer (Oct. 28) … Had two kickoff returns for 30 total yards on short kicks against Mercer, returning one 20 total yards … Finished with a career-best three stops with half a tackle for loss in the road win at Wofford (Nov. 4) ... Named to the 2023-24 Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll.

2022 (Freshman): Played in four games as a true freshman, remaining eligible for a redshirt … Saw time on special teams and as a reserve on defense … Made his collegiate debut at Samford (Sept. 24) … Credited with two kickoff returns as an up-back, totaling 14 total yards including a 13-yard return at Furman (Oct. 15) … Matched a team-high with seven tackles including a tackle for loss in WCU’s annual Spring Game.

Prior to Western Carolina: Played quarterback and outside linebacker as a prep, starting his high school career at Hough High with a year at Central Cabarrus High before finishing at Robinson High ... As a senior, finished with 76 tackles including 32 solo stops and nine tackles for loss with one sack and an interception, according to MaxPreps.com ... Recovered three fumbles and credited with two passes defended ... As a prep, passed for over 2,500 yards with 22 touchdowns while rushing for right at 1,000 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns.

Personal: Full name is Blue Kincade Monroe ... Is the son of April and Ken Monroe ... His father played football at Wingate and his mother is a former body builder ... Has an older sibling, Storm, who plays linebacker at Davidson College, and a younger sibling, Haven.




Friday, July 12, 2024

48 Days Until WCU Football Kickoff - #48 Colby Cross



It's now 48 days until the kickoff of Catamount Football on Thursday, August 29, 2024, against the NC State Wolfpack in Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC 

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful a little 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 will highlight another special teams player, a long snapper:

#48  Colby Cross












Position: Long Snapper
Height: 6-0
Weight: 225
Class: Redshirt Senior
Hometown: Mooresville, N.C.
High School: Lake Norman HS







2023 (Redshirt Junior): Played in all 11 of the team’s games as the primary long-snapper on punts and placekicks … Credited with one tackle against Mercer (Oct. 28) … Selected to the 2023 College Sports Communicators (CSC) Academic All-District team … Named to the 2024 NFF Hampshire Honor Society ... Named to the 2023-24 Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll.

2022 (Redshirt Sophomore): Played in two games on special teams … Saw action in the home wins over Presbyterian (Sept. 17) and nationally-ranked Chattanooga (Nov. 19), did not record any official statistics ... 
Named to the 2022-23 Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll.

2021 (Freshman*): Did not see game action, sidelined much of the season due to injury ... Named to the 2021-22 Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll.

2020-21 (Freshman): Played in all nine of the team’s games as the long-snapper … Was not credited with any official statistics … Made his collegiate debut in the season-opener at Liberty (Nov. 14) ... Named to the 2020-21 Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll.

Prior to Western Carolina: Was a two-year varsity letter winner at Lake Norman High as the long-snapper on special teams ... Joined the WCU football team as a walk-on.

Personal: Is the son of Kim and Tom Cross.



 


 

Thursday, July 11, 2024

49 Days Until WCU Football Kickoff - #49 Corbin Shirley



It's now 49 days until the kickoff of Catamount Football on Thursday, August 29, 2024, against the NC State Wolfpack in Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC 

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful a little 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 will highlight a WCU kicker:

#49 Corbin Shirley









Position: Kicker
Height: 5-10
Weight: 160
Class: Redshirt Sophomore
Hometown: Seneca, S.C.
High School: Seneca HS










2023 (Redshirt Freshman): Played in two games at the end of the season, kicking off a combined eight times on the season for a total of 493 yards and two touchbacks … Kicked off four times for 236 yards with an average of 59 yards per attempt in the home win over ETSU (Nov. 11) … Posted four kickoffs at VMI (Nov. 18) for 257 yards for an average of 64.25 yards with a pair of touchbacks against the Keydets … In WCU’s annual Spring Game, connected on all four PAT attempts ... Named to the 2023-24 Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll.

2022 (Freshman): Did not see game action ... Handled the punting duties during WCU’s annual Spring Game, averaging right at 40 yards per punt while adding a pair of PATs in the intrasquad scrimmage ... Named to the 2022-23 Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll.

Prior to Western Carolina: Finished 12-of-18 on field goals including 8-for-10 as a senior, also going 45-of-47 on PATs ... Earned all-conference honors and was a finalist for the Carolina Bowl ... Earned 4.5 stars at Kohls Kicking Camp and five stars at the ProKicker camp ... Earned school Athlete of the Week honors after kicking three field goals for 12 points in a game in mid-October of his senior year ... Also played varsity soccer for three years ... Was a three-time All-State selection in chorus.

Personal: Full name is Phillip Corbin Shirley ... Is the son of Jodie and Phil Shirley ... Both of his parents went to Western Carolina with his father, Phil, kicking for the Catamount football team in 1991-94 - he led WCU in scoring in 1992 (68 pts) and 1994 (50 pts), finishing his playing career 27-of-52 (.519) ... Has an older sister, Emma, who also attends Western Carolina.