MACON, Ga. – Mercer University head football coach Bobby Lamb announced that four players will carry the tag of team captain after a team-wide vote this week.
Quarterback John Russ and Kirby Southard will represent the Bears’ offense for the second-straight year as team captains, while linebackers Tosin Aguebor and Corey Lockett were elected for another season as well on the defensive side of the ball.
“This is a great honor for these young men,” Lamb said. “Being named a team captain is one of the highest honors you can receive in team sports and the leadership skills that were very evident in these young men last season have definitely carried over to this year.”
Russ, the Pioneer Football League Offensive Freshman of the Year, burst onto the scene in 2013 with 1,916 passing yards, 903 rushing yards and 34 total touchdowns. He led all NCAA Football Championship Subdivision freshmen in total touchdowns, yards per completion and passing efficiency and was named a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award, given to the FCS’ top freshman.
Southard helped anchor an offensive line that paved the way for a rushing attack that ranked second in the FCS last season. The Bears racked up 277.9 yards rushing per contest in 2013, while eclipsing the 300-yard mark in six contests.
Aguebor was an impact player for Mercer’s defense last season, finishing with 13 tackles-for-loss and 10 sacks en route to First Team All-PFL honors. The sophomore ranked ninth in the FCS with four forced fumbles and was tabbed Mercer’s Co-Defensive Most Valuable Player.
Lockett, a Warner Robins, Ga. native, totaled 53 tackles including 7.5 tackles-for-loss last season. His leadership helped the defense finish ninth in rushing defense a year ago after allowing just 117.3 yards per contest.
Mercer’s 2014 season opener is just over a week away, as the Bears will kick-off the new campaign on Thursday, August 28 against Reinhardt at 7 p.m.