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Cullowhee, N.C. – Western Carolina head football coach Mark Speir and his coaching staff announced the signing of four high school student-athletes to National Letters of Intent (NLI) between the first two days of the early national signing period. The Catamounts added three on offense including a quarterback and two offensive linemen with one defensive back who is expected to play safety in the early signing period which concludes Friday.

WCU inked offensive linemen Jacob Combs (North Wilkesboro, N.C. / North Wilkes HS) and Isaiah Helms (Lenoir, N.C. / West Caldwell HS), quarterback Malik Richardson (Sumter, S.C. / Lakewood HS), and defensive back Jalin Virgo (High Point, N.C. / Southwest Guilford HS) to NLI’s to play for the Catamounts beginning next fall. Richardson was listed as a two-star recruit by both Rivals.com and 247Sports.com.

“The Catamount football program got better today on early National Signing Day with the addition of four outstanding student-athletes,” said Speir. “They are each tremendous young men, students, and players. We are excited to start this journey with these four – they are just the beginning of a great 2019 recruiting class.”

Both offensive linemen, Combs and Helms, as well as defensive back Virgo are expected to enroll at WCU in January and to take part in the team’s annual spring drills.

“We’ve started to address the needs of our football team, especially along our offensive line with the addition of Jacob Combs and Isaiah Helms. Both being enrolled in January and a part of our spring roster is vital with the departure of five offensive linemen that we lost due to graduation,” Speir said. “Jaylin Virgo is a dynamic, physical safety who will sure-up the loss of All-American Marvin Tillman. He, too, will benefit by gaining 15 days of spring practice.”

Speir added, “Malik Richardson is a quarterback who will join our program this summer. He is another playmaker joining the long line of QB’s that coach Brad Glenn – who has had tremendous success mentoring players at that position – will get to work with.”

The remainder of Western Carolina’s 2019 incoming class will be inked and announced on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019.

Fans can keep track of everything related to Catamount football and WCU Athletics through its social media outlets on Facebook (fb.com/catamountsports) and Twitter (@catamounts), as well as video updates on the department's YouTube channel (CatamountSports).

 

2019 Catamount Football Incoming Class:

Updated

Name

Pos.

Ht.

Wt.

Hometown (Previous School)

Dec. 19

Jacob Combs

OL

6-4

280 lbs.

North Wilkesboro, N.C. (North Wilkes HS)

Dec. 19

Jalin Virgo

DB

6-2

185 lbs.

High Point, N.C. (Southwest Guilford HS)

Dec. 19

Malik Richardson

QB

6-4

200 lbs.

Sumter, S.C. (Lakewood HS)

Dec. 20

Isaiah Helms

OL

6-3

315 lbs.

Lenoir, N.C. (West Caldwell HS)

 

Jacob Combs

OL - 6-4 - 280 lbs.

North Wilkesboro, N.C. (North Wilkes HS)

Prior to Western Carolina: Two-time All-Mountain Valley Conference selection playing both offensive and defensive line … Earned Winston-Salem Journal All-Northwest team accolades twice over his final two seasons as a prep.

Personal: Full name is Jacob Lee Combs … Is the son of Vicki Phillips and Ricky Combs

Note: High school coach was Monty Chipman.

Jalin Virgo

DB - 6-2 - 185 lbs.

High Point, N.C. (Southwest Guilford HS)

Prior to Western Carolina: Three-year varsity letter winner … Credited with 150 career tackles including 89 solo stops and 22 tackles for loss with eight sacks … Two-time All-Piedmont Triad 3-A Conference selection as a sophomore and senior … A two-way player as a prep playing wide receiver, linebacker, and defensive back … Tallied 19 receptions for 314 yards and six touchdowns as a junior and senior … Four-sport athlete, playing baseball, basketball, and wrestled in addition to playing football.

Personal: Is the son of Lavonda and James Brown III … Has two siblings, Skyy Little and Chayce Brown.

Note: High school coach was Eric Rainey.

Malik Richardson

QB - 6-4 - 200 lbs.

Sumter, S.C. (Lakewood HS)

Prior to Western Carolina: Two-year varsity starter as a pro-style quarterback … As a senior, completed 69-of-137 passes for 938 yards and five touchdowns against five interceptions … Rushed 177 times for 964 yards and eight TDs … Nominated to compete in the Touchstone Energy North-South All-Star Game … Chosen to play in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl in Dallas, Texas in January 2019 … As a junior, completed 85-of-165 passes for 907 yards and seven scores while also rushing for 769 yards on 132 carries … Is a two-star recruit according to both 247Sports.com and Rivals.com … Also runs track as a prep where he qualified for the state championship.

Personal: Full name is Malik Michel Richardson … Is the son of Geraldine Richardson and Malcolm Chatman.

Note: Originally committed to East Carolina … High school head coach was Larry Cornelius.

Isaiah Helms

OL - 6-3 - 315 lbs.

Lenoir, N.C. (West Caldwell HS)

Prior to Western Carolina: Two-way lineman who played offensive center and defensive tackle … Four-time All-District honoree and a three-time All-Northwestern 3A/4A Conference selection … Selected to play in the 82nd Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas all-star football game as a senior … As a junior, recorded 25 total tackles and recovered a pair of fumbles playing along the defensive line … Also participated in baseball and field events in track & field as a prep.

Personal: Is the son of Jessica Helms.

Note: High school coach was DeVore Holman.

 

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