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WCU’s McCollum Claims Third SoCon Special Teams Weekly Award

By Daniel Hooker / WCU

For the third time this season, Western Carolina redshirt junior placekicker Richard McCollum was today named the Southern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week after scoring eight points with a pair of field goals including the game-winner as time expired last Saturday in the rivalry road victory over ETSU in the Blue Ridge Border Battle in Johnson City, Tenn.

McCollum’s three weekly honors from the SoCon are the most by any player in that category this season, and the second-most by a single player in the league this year only behind Samford QB Michael Hiers’s five offensive plaudits. McCollum was also honored back on Sept. 5 and Sept. 26 with a pair of awards. McCollum has earned four awards in his WCU career.

McCollum split the uprights from both 40- and 33-yards away in Saturday’s road win, calmly kicking the game-winner field goal in the blustery conditions and spitting rain at the end of the rivalry match-up. With a wet football, the snap from Kevin Thompson and hold by Brandon Dickerson were good allowing McCollum to be true for the walk-off win.

On the year, McCollum is 16-of-18 (88.9%) on field goals including 5-for-5 on kicks between 40-to-49 yards. His 16 made field goals – the second-most in the SoCon this season – rank him tied for sixth in WCU’s single-season record books, matching Joshua Gibson (16 in 2017). For his career, McCollum is now 33-of-39 (84.6%) with his 33 made field goals ranking fourth in program history.

McCollum has scored a team-best 85 points this season, the fourth-most in the Southern Conference while ranking fifth overall with an 8.5-point-per-game average. Over his career, the Sanford, N.C., product has scored 201 points to rank sixth in Catamount football history.

Also on Monday, Catamount freshman WR Censere Lee was listed as an honorable mention for the FedEx Ground FCS National Freshman Player of the Week as presented by Stats Perform. Lee caught a career-high nine passes for 107 yards and a touchdown in last Saturday’s win at ETSU.

It’s the second time this season that Lee has received plaudits from the national award, also collecting recognition after his five-catch, 164-yard outburst at Furman. He has been joined by DB Samaurie Dukes, who was listed after his career-high nine tackle performance in his first career start at Mercer, and freshman RB Desmond Reid, who was listed this week after his second-straight 100-yard rushing game against Wofford.

Western Carolina (5-5, 3-4 SoCon) plays its home finale on Saturday, Nov. 19, hosting the No. 15/17 Chattanooga Mocs (7-3, 5-2 SoCon) on Hall of Fame Day and Senior Day at Bob Waters Field / E.J. Whitmire Stadium in Cullowhee. The game has been billed as the SoCon Ingles Game of the Week and will air on select Nexstar stations and concurrently on ESPN+ (paid subscription required).

WCU will induct its 33rd class into its Athletics Hall of Fame in a Saturday morning ceremony in the Hinds University Center Grand Room beginning at 8:30 a.m. Skip Nelloms (Baseball, 1985-88), head coach Steve Lott (Women’s Golf, 1998-2010), and the 1995-96 Catamount men’s basketball team comprise the 2022 induction class

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