Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina redshirt sophomore quarterback Tyrie Adams and junior defensive back Marvin Tillman were both honored on Thursday morning as the Southern Conference announced its September athletes of the month.
Award selections are made by the league office from nominations submitted by the media relations office of each conference school.
It’s the second-straight September that Adams has collected the monthly honor from the conference, becoming the first Catamount to earn multiple player of the month selections. It is just the third monthly offensive award for WCU since its inception in 2003. Tillman collected the first award of his career as the sixth different Catamount to earn the defensive recognition.
Adams accounted for 12 touchdowns for the Catamounts in September, throwing for 11 and running for one more. The second-year starter from St. Petersburg, Fla., finished the month 74-for-122 for 1,205 yards through the air, highlighted by a 312-yard effort in a win over No. 17 Samford on Sept. 23 that handed WCU its first win over a ranked FCS opponent since 2006. Adams, who threw for a touchdown in that game, also ran for a career-high 152 yards and a score in the upset victory.
In addition to that effort, the dual-threat QB also ran for 107 against FBS Hawai’i to open the season on Sept. 2, eclipsing the century mark on the ground twice in the month. Adams tossed five touchdown passes in a 63-17 win over Davidson, and threw for 125 yards on just eight completions – an average of 15.6 yards per completion – and ran for 44 in the Catamounts’ 45-7 win over Chattanooga on Sept. 30, as Western Carolina beat the Mocs on the road for the first time since 2005 while also halting an eight-game slide in the series.
A two-time SoCon offensive player of the week in September, Adams helped the Catamounts, now No. 22 in the STATS FCS Top 25, vault into the national rankings for the first time since 2006.
Tillman helped the Catamounts to a 4-1 record in September, with their lone loss coming at FBS Hawai’i to open the season. He led a rejuvenated WCU defense by recording a team-best 45 tackles (t-4th in the SoCon), an average of 9.0 per game, including 28 solo stops, among the tops in the league for the month. He had a season-best 14 tackles in Western Carolina’s 38-34 upset of No. 17 Samford on Sept. 23 and opened the year with 12 tackles and a pass breakup against the Rainbow Warriors in the Islands.
The Durham, N.C., native came up with two takeaways, returning an interception 12 yards against Hawai’i before adding a 29-yard pick in a win at Gardner-Webb on Sept. 16. Tillman also recorded his first tackle for loss of the season against the Runnin’ Bulldogs and added another one in the Catamounts’ win over Samford the following week. Tillman had a quarterback hurry and a pass breakup against Davidson on Sept. 9 and had a QB hurry and six stops against Chattanooga to close out September.
Amidst its best start through its first five games since 1974, the 22nd-ranked Catamounts (4-1, 2-0 SoCon) travel to Spartanburg, S.C., this Saturday for a first-place battle with the undefeated No. 5 Wofford Terriers (4-0, 2-0 SoCon). Two of the top three rushing offenses will be on display at Gibbs Stadium as WCU and Wofford rank second and third, respectively, in the league in yards on the ground. All told, six of the top 10 individual rushers will be on the field including WCU’s Detrez Newsome (1st, 139.2), Tyrie Adams (2nd, 67.8), and Corey Holloway (5th, 63.0), countered by Wofford’s Blake Morgan (3rd, 65.5), Lennox McAfee (4th, 64.2), and Andre Stoddard (10th, 56.2).
Tickets for Saturday’s SoCon showdown in the Western Carolina section 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.
Western Carolina's All-Time SoCon Players of the Month:
2003 - September: Brian Gaither (Offensive); October: Rod Dunlap (Defensive)
2008 - November: Adrian McLeod (Defensive)
2010 - September: Torez Jones (Defensive)
2014 - October: Trey Morgan (Defensive)
2015 – October: Daniel Riddle (Defensive)
2016 – September: Tyrie Adams (Offensive)
2017 – September: Tyrie Adams (Offensive) & Marvin Tillman (Defensive)