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Western Carolina's Michael Helms Jr. on 2014 CFPA Watch List

Michael Helms Jr. (15) is the second Catamount to be tabbed on a CFPA preseason watch list.

July 3, 2014

Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina's Michael Helms Jr., has been named to the College Football Performance (CFPA) Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Tight Ends Award Watch List for 2014.

Helms is a second Catamount to grace CFPA's preseason watch lists, joining wide receiver Karnorris Benson who was named back on June 23. Helms, a redshirt sophomore, was one of two tight ends from the Southern Conference to appear on the preseason list, joined by Chattanooga's Faysal Shafaat (35 catches for 322 yards and six TDs in 2013).

Including last year's winner, Mycole Pruitt from Southern Illinois, the initial watch list includes 36 returning performers each vying for the top tight end award in the FCS. All players are eligible for awards at their respective positions; players are not preemptively eliminated from consideration.

Helms played in all but one of WCU's games a season ago with six starts at tight end. He finished the year with 10 receptions for 181 yards and a touchdown. The Morganton, N.C., product recorded a career-high 79 yards receiving at Samford, hauling in the second-longest pass of the season for the Catamounts with a 65-yard reception. Named to the SoCon All-Freshman team at year's end, Helms caught his first collegiate touchdown pass in the third quarter of WCU's come-from-behind, overtime Homecoming victory over Elon.

The goal of College Football Performance Awards ( is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferments in college football. Recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams. Twenty-eight CFPA winners have been first-round NFL Draft selections.

CFPA is now in its seventh season of recognition, utilizing objective rankings of player and team performance from its data index since 2008. The full list of 2014 CFPA winners will be announced January 14, 2015.



Western Carolina's football student-athletes officially report for fall camp on Thursday, July 31 with the first, helmet-only practice scheduled for the following day on Friday, August 1. The Catamounts open the 2014 season - the third under head coach Mark Speir - on Saturday, August 30 at USF in Tampa, Fla.

Season tickets for all six of WCU's home games in 2014 are on-sale through the Catamount Athletic Ticket Office and online at Purchasing season tickets also allows fans to secure tickets before single-game sales begin on August 25. With Western Carolina University celebrating its 125th anniversary, fans can purchase a reserved adult season ticket for all six home games for just $125 with youth reserved starting at $65.

For more information or to purchase 2014 Catamount football season tickets, contact Director of Ticket Operations Michael Lee by calling (828) 227-2401 or toll free at (800) 34-GOWCU, or via E-mail at

Important Upcoming Dates to Remember:
Mon., July 7 - 2nd session of summer school begins
Fri., July 11 - The Great Smokies Invitational golf tournament; The Ridges Golf Club in Hayesville, N.C.
Wed., July 23 - Southern Conference Football Media Day in Spartanburg, S.C.
Thurs., July 31 - 2014 Catamount football student-athletes report for camp
Fri., August 1 - First scheduled football practice of the 2014 preseason (helmet only)
Tues., August 5 - First scheduled football practice in full pads
Wed., August 6 - First scheduled two-a-day practice sessions
Sat., August 9 - Catamount Football Intrasquad scrimmage
Sat., August 9 - Catamount Tailgate Kickoff (Catamount Club members)
Wed., August 13 - Catamount women's soccer vs. Winthrop (exhibition), 6 pm
Fri., August 15 - Catamount women's soccer vs. UNC Asheville (exhibition), 7 pm
Sat., August 16 - Catamount Football Intrasquad scrimmage
Mon., August 18 - First day of fall classes at WCU
Fri., August 22 - Catamount women's soccer vs. Eastern Kentucky (2014 home opener), 7 pm
Sun., August 24 - Catamount women's soccer vs. East Carolina, 2 pm
Mon., August 25 - Catamount Football single-game tickets go on sale
Fri., August 29 - Catamount cross country hosts the Western Carolina Invitational, 6:30 pm
Sat., August 30 - 2014 Catamount Football season opener at USF in Tampa, Fla.
Fri., Sept. 5 - 10th Annual Bob Waters Memorial golf tournament; Maggie Valley Club, Maggie Valley, N.C.
Sat., Sept. 6 - 2014 Catamount Football home opener vs. Brevard in Cullowhee
Fri., Sept. 26 - The Upstate Classic golf tournament; The Preserve at Verdae in Greenville, S.C.