Four Catamounts Named to NFF Hampshire Honor Society – Press Release

Release from Daniel Hooker, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations

(828) 227.2339 |

Marlon Alexander, Clayton Bardall, Brandon Dickerson, and Richard McCollum named to NFF Hampshire Honor Society.

Four Western Carolina Catamount football players were today selected as members of the 2023 NFF Hampshire Honor Society as announced by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF). Returning seniors DL Marlon Alexander, TE Clayton Bardall, and PK Richard McCollum, as well as graduating senior punter Brandon Dickerson were each selected to the honorary group.

WCU’s four selections – the second-most for the program in a single year all time – were among 16 from the Southern Conference including seven from Chattanooga and five from Wofford.

Alexander started nine of the team’s 11 games last fall where he was credited with 25 tackles including 10 solo stops and 2.5 tackles for loss with 1.5 sacks. He boasts a cumulative grade point average of 3.68 while majoring in communication. Alexander was named to the 2021-22 SoCon Academic Honor Roll and was named to the 2022 Fall Academic All-SoCon team. The Smyrna, Tenn., product was also named to the College Sports Communicators (CSC) Academic All-District team this year.

Bardall caught 11 passes over WCU’s 11 games in 2022, making five starts at tight end. He finished the year with 163 receiving yards including a season-high 89 on four receptions at Mercer. He has recorded 465 career receiving yards since the fall of 2018 with four touchdowns. Bardall is a four-time SoCon Academic Honor Roll recipient and has currently been named Academic All-SoCon three times. He was also named to the College Sports Communicators (CSC) Academic All-District team this year. From Cumming, Ga., Bardall carries a cumulative GPA of 3.50 while majoring in engineering.

McCollum was a third-team Associated Press (AP) All-America selection and a second-team media All-SoCon honoree a season ago after collecting a trio of SoCon Special Teams Player of the Week honors. He obliterated a previous school benchmark for consecutive made PATs, a record he now holds at 85-straight successful tries. Returning for a sixth season of eligibility, McCollum has scored 207 career points to sit sixth in the program’s all-time record book – just 95 points shy of the school record of 302 scored by Kirk Roach (1984-87). McCollum is 34-of-40 (85%) on field goals with his 34 successful FGs ranking fourth in school history. He is a three-time Academic All-SoCon selection and a three-time SoCon Academic Honor Roll honoree and was also named to the College Sports Communicators (CSC) Academic All-District team this year. The Sanford, N.C., product holds a cumulative GPA of 3.57 while majoring in health sciences.

Dickerson finished the 2022 season ranked second in the SoCon in punting average at 43.7 yards per kick, and closed his Catamount career with a 38.7-yard average, tied for the ninth-best in program history. His 139 career punts rank 12th in school history. The former walk-on was named to the 2022 FCS Punter of the Year watch list in early August 2022, and he was nominated for the William V. Campbell Trophy through the NFF. Dickerson is a three-time SoCon Academic Honor Roll recipient and twice selected to the Academic All-SoCon team, while also garnering College Sports Communicators (CSC) Academic All-District team this year. Majoring in integrated health and sciences, Dickerson holds a cumulative GPA of 3.75.

The 2023 NFF Hampshire Honor Society is comprised of college football players from all divisions of the NCAA, NAIA, and sprint football whom each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college careers. An elite group of 1,734 players from 328 schools qualified for membership in 2023, setting a record for the number of members in a single year during the program’s 17-year history. The initiative has now honored 16,370 student-athletes since its inception.

 “It was my great privilege to endow the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which has greatly increased the number of college student-athletes the NFF has been able to recognize during the past 17 years,” said Jon F. Hanson, the chairman and founder of The Hampshire Companies. “Nationwide there are thousands of football players excelling in the classroom, and they are going on to become great leaders.”

 Nominated by their respective schools, members of the NFF Hampshire Honor Society must be either:

  • A graduated player, who has been out of high school at least (3) years; or
  • A senior player, who will graduate this spring/summer, and just completed his final year of playing eligibility in 2022;

 And must have:

  • Attained a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.2 (4.0 scale); and
  • Been starters or significant contributors throughout the 2022 season.

 “We have honored more than 16,000 student-athletes in the last 17 years thanks to Jon Hanson’s generosity,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “We are grateful for his passionate belief in the scholar-athlete ideal, and the Hampshire Honor Society allows us to showcase the names of tomorrow’s leaders while inspiring future generations to follow in their footsteps.”

 Western Carolina is scheduled to wrap up its annual Spring Drills this week, culminating with the Spring Game on Saturday, April 15, at Noon on the turf at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field in Cullowhee. Only the West Side (opposite the press box) of the stadium will be open for spectators with limited concessions and merchandising options through the WCU Bookstore available on the concourse.

 Season tickets for the highly anticipated 2023 five-game home campaign are on sale now both online at and through the WCU Athletics Ticket Office in the Ramsey Center or by phone at (828) 227-2401. Ticketing brochures and schedule cards will be available with WCU Ticketing representatives on Saturday.

 Keep track of everything related to Catamount football and WCU Athletics through its social media outlets on Facebook (, Twitter (@Catamounts, @CatamountsFB), and Instagram (wcu_catamounts).

 ABOUT THE HAMPSHIRE FOUNDATIONThe Hampshire Foundation is the charitable arm of The Hampshire Companies, a privately-held, fully-integrated real estate firm that has more than 60 years of hands-on, cycle-tested experience in acquiring, developing, leasing, repositioning, managing, financing, and disposing of real estate. Founded by Jon F. Hanson, who served as NFF Chairman from 1994-2006, Hampshire is headquartered in Morristown, New Jersey. Learn more at ABOUT The National Football Foundation & College Hall of FameFounded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship, and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters in 47 states, NFF programs include the selection and induction of members of the College Football Hall of Fame; the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta; Future For Football; The William V. Campbell Trophy®; the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class Presented by Fidelity Investments; the NFF National High School Academic Excellence Awards & Hatchell Cup presented by the Original Bob’s Steak & Chop House; and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Catapult, Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Hanold Associates Executive Search, Jostens, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the New York Athletic Club, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation, and the Sports Business Journal. Follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter @NFFNetwork, and learn more at


Western Carolina’s NFF Hampshire Honor Society Recipients:2022: Marlon Alexander, Clayton Bardall, Brandon Dickerson, Richard McCollum

2019: Ian Berryman, Nathan Dalton, Corey Holloway, Kaleb Spry, Zach Weeks

2018: Tyler Junius, A.J. Newman, Daniel Riddle2017: Chandler Addertion, Ethan James2016: Darius Ramsey, London Richardson2015: K.P. Hicks, Richard Sigmon2014: Clark Sechrest,  Ben Watkins2013: Conner Orr, Rock Williams