Jan. 10, 2006
Cullowhee, N.C. - It was announced today that the Western Carolina football team will travel to Athens, Ga., to face the University of Georgia Bulldogs on Sept. 15, 2007. Also, former Catamount Nick McNeil was promoted to the Washington Redskins' 53-man roster on Jan. 9 and will be active for his team's playoff game with the Seattle Seahawks this Saturday (Jan.14). Kickoff in Seattle is set for 4:30 pm and the game will be televised on Fox.
WCU Football to Play Georgia in 2007
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina University and the University of Georgia announced today that the Catamounts will travel to Athens, Ga., to face the Bulldogs on Sept. 15, 2007. Georgia will also host fellow Southern Conference members Georgia Southern in 2008 and Appalachian State in 2009.
Western has faced Georgia on one previous occasion, falling 48-0 to the Bulldogs on Aug. 31, 1991. The Catamounts will travel to Southeastern Conference member Florida on Nov. 18 this coming season. Florida and Western have not previously met in football. In recent years, the Catamounts have faced four other SEC schools since 2000, joining Louisiana State (2000), Auburn (2002) and Alabama (2004). The only other time Western had faced an SEC school was that 1991 meeting with Georgia. (The Cats have faced South Carolina on four occasions, but that was prior to the Gamecocks joining the SEC.)
McNeil on Redskins Roster; Former Cats Still Alive in NFL Playoffs
Cullowhee, N.C. - Nick McNeil was promoted to the Washington Redskins' 53-man roster on Jan. 9 and will be active for his team's playoff game with the Seattle Seahawks this Saturday (Jan.14). Kickoff in Seattle is set for 4:30 pm and the game will be televised on Fox.
McNeil, a linebacker and #51 for the Redskins, was originally signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Redskins in September 2005. He was able to be promoted from the practice squad when defensive end Renaldo Wynn, who broke his arm against the Buccaneers, was placed on injured reserve.
A three-time All-Southern Conference pick while at Western, McNeil spent the 2005 preseason with the Green Bay Packers but was released at the start of training camp. This past summer, he was allocated to NFL Europe as a member of the Hamburg Sea Devils. With Hamburg, McNeil finished second on the team with 65 tackles, including one sack; also made one interception which he returned 28 yards for a score, forced a pair of fumbles, blocked a field goal and recorded eight tackles on special teams. For his effort, he was named 2005 All-NFL Europe League by the league's coaches and media. Originally signed with Pittsburgh as an undrafted rookie free agent in April 2004, McNeil was waived by the Steelers in August 2004 and signed with the Packers in December 2004, where he was a member of the practice squad for the remainder of the season.
Another former Catamount, wide receiver David Patten, could have joined McNeil on the sideline with the Redskins. However, Patten, who signed with Washington in the off season after being part of three Super Bowl championships while with the New England Patriots, was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 19 after having season-ending knee surgery.
While McNeil and the Redskins continue their journey towards the Super Bowl, yet another former Catamount, Brad Hoover, will look to make his second Super Bowl appearance. Hoover, who helped the Carolina Panthers to the 2004 Super Bowl, and the Panthers will travel to Chicago to face the Bears on Sunday (Jan. 15). Kickoff is set for 4:30 pm and the game will be televised on Fox.
On the AFC side of the NFL Playoffs, former Catamount Willie Williams of the Pittsburgh Steelers will also be looking to play in his second Super Bowl. Williams, who helped the Steelers to the AFC Championship game last season, was a starting cornerback with Pittsburgh in the 1996 Super Bowl, leading the AFC and finishing third in the NFL that season with seven interceptions. After defeating Cincinnati in the first round of this year's playoffs, the Steelers will travel to Indianapolis to face the top-seed Colts on Sunday (Jan. 15). Kickoff is set for 1:00 pm and the game will be televised on CBS.
In other professional football news, McNeil's teammate while at Western, Michale Spicer will begin his second season with the Los Angeles Avengers in the Arena Football League. Spicer is #1 with the squad and plays both fullback and linebacker.
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