Cullowhee, N.C. – Sporadic rain showers dampened Western Carolina’s preseason practice on Saturday afternoon, a second helmet-only workout on the turf at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field. In fact, the second of four-consecutive practices to open the fall endured an hour lightning delay before the squad returned to work, completing its two-hour workout on the field.

The Catamounts’ 2019 fall camp continues Sunday afternoon as the players put on shoulder pads for the first time. The two-hour practice is slated for a 3:15 pm start. Each WCU preseason football practice is open to the public. It is respectfully requested, though, that spectators observe from the stadium seating area and avoid being either on the field or the sidelines for safety. Also, practice times are subject to change.

Ahead of the Aug. 31 Labor Day weekend season-opening game against the Mercer Bears, will feature a series of question and answer sessions with the Western Carolina senior football players.

Season tickets for all six home dates in 2019 are on sale now through the WCU Athletics Ticket Office located on the first floor of the Ramsey Center or by phone at (800)34-GOWCU or (828) 227-2401. Fans can also purchase season tickets online by visiting Single-game tickets for the 2019 season are slated to go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 7.

The first in this year’s "Get to Know" features is John Brannon, a senior defensive back from Charlotte, N.C. Brannon is a two-time Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll recipient who has 35 career tackles including 20 solo stops and three tackles for loss. In addition to his four career interceptions – two apiece in 2017 and 2018 – he’s been credited with a pair of pass break-ups.

Name: John Brannon

Major: Sport Management and Marketing (double-major)



What is your nickname?

Brannon: “JB”


What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Brannon: Chocolate


What is your favorite animal at the zoo?

Brannon: Lion


Which team do you pick in Madden?

Brannon: Miami Dolphins


What is your favorite off-season activity?

Brannon: Traveling


If you were a superhero, what powers would you want?

Brannon: Illusion


What is your favorite holiday?

Brannon: My birthday / Christmas


Which teammate makes you laugh the most?

Brannon: I can’t choose just one; the whole team is full of clowns!


What celebrity would you most like to meet?

Brannon: Will Smith


What three positive words or phrases would your teammates use to describe you as a person?

Brannon: Friendly, Laid Back, and Hardworker


What motivates you to work hard?

Brannon: What motivates me to work hard are the goals I’ve set for myself and my family


Who is the most important person in your life?

Brannon: My mother


As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Brannon: I always wanted to be a professional athlete.


What is the best advice you were ever given?

Brannon: “Whatever happened in the past doesn’t matter; you can either run from it or learn from it.” Based on a line from Rafiki in “The Lion King”


What position do you play – and what is the one key thing to know about playing that position?

Brannon: Cornerback (CB) – no matter what happens, the next is its own play.


If you weren’t playing football, what sport would you have played in college?

Brannon: Basketball


One major goal for the 2019 football season?

Brannon: To take it one day at a time; enjoy it and whatever it comes with, the next day will bring its own story.


What made you choose Western Carolina University?

Brannon: The environment made me want to experience things outside the city – and the family-like environment that the team brings.


What’s been your favorite class at WCU?

Brannon: Professional selling


What’s your favorite part about being a student-athlete at Western Carolina?

Brannon: The new relationships and memories with people on campus.


What’s the most challenging thing about being a student-athlete at Western Carolina?

Brannon: Time management is a big challenge.


What is your favorite thing about home games in Cullowhee?

Brannon: Having the #CatamountNation fill the stadium on Saturday’s.


What does #CatamountCountry mean to you?

Brannon: It means so much more than just a marketing tool; it’s a collective family that comes together for the greater good of The Cats in every possible way – and I love it!


What is your favorite quote or saying from WCU head football coach Mark Speir?

Brannon: “You are who you are all the time.”


What does it mean to play in front of a large home-game crowd in Cullowhee?

Brannon: It’s fueling and brings energy to the game and to us, the players.


What does your athletic scholarship mean to you?

Brannon: It makes me truly grateful to be able to get an education and play the sport that I love.


What will you miss MOST about being a Catamount student-athlete?

Brannon: I will miss spending time with my teammates and the memories that were made while being a Catamount.


What message would you like to send to the Catamount Nation?

Brannon: I greatly appreciate the love and support that the Catamount Nation has done for my colleagues and I!