Quote Originally Posted by walliver View Post
North Carolina has a lot of schools, but only two public schools in Western North Carolina (WCU and UNC-A). Of course the mountains are not densely populated. There are only two football schools in the mountains (WCU and ASU). The challenge for WCU is attracting players who want to live in a small college town surrounded by mountains. A bigger challenge may be attracting players to a program with a poor football history.
I think there's a lot of parallels between Western Carolina and Western Illinois (outside the "Western" and the colors) although Illinois doesn't have anywhere near the number of DI playing football schools.
WCU has more in-state "competition" for players, but it's a similarly-sized school in a slightly smaller town in a pretty sparsely-populated area (within 20 mile radius of the towns, WCU has ~94k people, WIU has ~43k). We've had some success, but other than an occasional year here or there, it's been a while (since before most of the kids we're recruiting were born). Pretty much replace "mountains" with "cornfields" and it's pretty spot-on for WIU as well.