Cullowhee, N.C. – Western Carolina football put the finishing touches on a very solid 2019 incoming class during Wednesday’s National Signing Day, inking 15 high school student-athletes to National Letters of Intent (NLI) to play for the Catamounts beginning in the fall of 2019.
All told including the four student-athletes signed in the early period, three of preferred walk-ons added to the class on Wednesday, and one mid-semester transfer, the Catamounts brought in a combined 23 recruits for the fall of 2019 – four of which are already on campus and will participate in the squad’s spring drills. (Complete incoming class roster listed below).
“We as a staff are fired-up about this class,” said Speir. “We feel we addressed the major needs in the trenches on both sides of the football with the addition of eight linemen – five on offense and three along our defensive front. We’ve also added a very talented group of skill players, especially at the wide receiver and defensive back positions.”
Of WCU’s 23 newcomers, 13 are from the state of North Carolina including 10 inked to NLIs on Wednesday with four hailing from Florida, three from both Georgia and South Carolina. The basic breakdown of the class is eight linemen – five on offense and three on defense – with 14 total skill players and one specialist. The 23 newcomers are essentially split evenly down the middle with 10 designated for offense and 11 for defense with one carrying the “athlete” tag who could see time on either side of the ball – but most likely will land at wideout on offense – and the specialist.
In addition to the five offensive linemen, WCU offensive coordinator Brad Glenn oversaw the addition of a running back, three wide receivers, and freshman quarterback Malik Richardson, who signed in December. His defensive counterpart John Wiley added three defensive linemen, three linebackers, and five defensive backs.
“This outstanding class was made possible in part through the tremendous efforts of our assistant coaches and their families, our support staff, and the amazing faculty here at Western Carolina University. Together, I can’t wait to see what this 2019 incoming class adds to our returners as we turn our focus to the spring and our home-opener against the Mercer Bears. Catamount Nation – strap in because it’s gonna be fun,” said Speir.
Combined, Western Carolina landed seven recruits that garnered at least two-stars from either 247Sports.com or Rivals.com with four earning at least one three-star rating from the same sites. Additionally, mid-semester transfer LB Jayden Pauling was originally listed as a two-star recruit out of Millbrook High, playing last season at Louisburg College.
Catamount Athletics, WCU Football and the Catamount Club will again host a special National Signing Day Reception on Saturday, Feb. 16 as Speir and his coaching staff provide an overview of this year’s incoming class. The event, open to all Catamount Club Top Cat members and above, will be hosted in the Ramsey Center Auxiliary Gym with an 11:00 am social followed by the program at 12:15 pm, catered by Ingles, The Chef’s Kitchen.
The National Signing Dy Reception precedes a Catamount men’s basketball home game against Southern Conference foe, The Citadel, with a 2:00 pm tip-off. Make note that the National Signing Day Reception will serve as the pregame “Purple Zone” event for the day prior to the men’s basketball tip against the Bulldogs.
Due to the high demand and limited seating capacity, Catamount Club members at the Top Cat level and above are encouraged to RSVP as soon as possible to secure their reservation. The deadline to RSVP is Wednesday, Feb. 13. Contact the Catamount Club office at (828) 227-2055 or by Email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For tickets to the men’s basketball game, contact the WCU Athletics Ticket Office at (828) 227-2401 or log onto CatamountSports.com.
Western Carolina Catamount Football - 2019 Incoming Class
|NAME||POS.||HT.||WT.||HOMETOWN (HIGH SCHOOL)|
|Kasimir Absolu||WR||5-10||160 lbs.||Jacksonville, Fla. (Mandarin HS)|
|Kendall Alford||WR||5-10||175 lbs.||Marietta, Ga. (Walton HS)|
|Darrius Bell||DL||6-2||220 lbs.||Gilbert, S.C. (Gilbert HS)|
|Jacob Combs #||OL||6-4||280 lbs.||North Wilkesboro, N.C. (North Wilkes HS)|
|Dejon DeCruz||LB||6-1||230 lbs.||Durham, N.C. (Riverside HS)|
|Zach Hayes||OL||6-3||300 lbs.||Jonesboro, Ga. (Jonesboro HS)|
|Christian Harris||DL||6-3||245 lbs.||Raleigh, N.C. (Baylor School (Chattanooga, Tenn.))|
|Isaiah Helms #||OL||6-3||315 lbs.||Lenoir, N.C. (West Caldwell HS)|
|Chester Geffrard||LB||6-4||225 lbs.||Ocoee, Fla. (Ocoee HS)|
|Neil Ilenrey||DB||6-0||205 lbs.||Alpharetta, Ga. (Johns Creek HS)|
|Roman Johnson||DL||6-3||245 lbs.||Greensboro, N.C. (Southern Guilford HS)|
|Dillon Luther||OL||6-3||300 lbs.||Asheville, N.C. (Erwin HS)|
|Jaylon McMillon||DB||6-0||175 lbs.||Clemmons, N.C. (West Forsyth HS)|
|Syheam McQueen||RB||6-0||185 lbs.||Laurinburg, N.C. (Scotland County HS)|
|Jabril Muhammad||DB||5-11||170 lbs.||St. Petersburg, Fla. (Clearwater Academy International)|
|Jaheim Mullen||ATH||6-0||185 lbs.||Gastonia, N.C. (Hunter Huss HS)|
|Micah Nelson @||DB||6-3||195 lbs.||Murphy, N.C. (Murphy HS)|
|Jayden Pauling (So.)||LB||6-3||225 lbs.||Raleigh, N.C. (Louisburg College / Millbrook HS)|
|Malik Richardson #||QB||6-4||200 lbs.||Sumter, S.C. (Lakewood HS)|
|Kevin Thompson @||LS||5-10||210 lbs.||Rock Hill, S.C. (Northwestern HS)|
|Jalin Virgo #||DB||6-2||185 lbs.||High Point, N.C. (Southwest Guilford HS)|
|Blake Whitmore @||OL||6-2||285 lbs.||Raleigh, N.C. (Millbrook HS)|
|Jaylin Young||WR||6-0||165 lbs.||Miami, Fla. (Miami Central HS)|
|# - Signed in December's early period|
|@ - Committed as a preferred walk-on|