The road from Durham, North Carolina, to Mercer University has been paved with hard work and determination for Dorian Kithcart.
The redshirt senior nose guard has played with drive and determination since he first played football in seventh grade. As a current graduate student pursuing his master’s in mechanical engineering, Kithcart is looking forward to suiting up one last time for the Bears this fall.
Coming off a dominant campaign in 2018 — which saw him record 29 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks — Kithcart has lofty goals for the 2019 season.
“I want to make sure I do everything in my power to be the best leader I can; pay it forward to the guys who are coming up behind me and help Mercer Football bring home its first SoCon Championship,” Kithcart said.
However, high goals are the standard for Kithcart and he has yet to disappoint — whether on or off the field. As a redshirt freshman in 2016, he was named to the SOCON All-Freshman team. Off the field, Kithcart received All-District academic honors in 2017 and was the student speaker at Mercer Commencement in 2019.
As a senior, even more is expected of Kithcart, but these expectations are part of what attracted him to Mercer in the first place.
“The opportunity to do big things on the field and off it really drew me to the program,” Kithcart said in an email. “My coaches expect a lot out of me, especially being a senior, but I hold myself to those same high standards because that’s the only way I can keep bettering myself and others around me.”
Kithcart is grateful for the opportunity he has had at Mercer to play football and develop more as a player. Although he plans on continuing his football career in the National Football League, there is more to Mercer Football than just big plays and bigger hits.
“The ultimate goal once anyone leaves this program is to first graduate and secondly become the best version of themselves, or what we call the ‘Mercer Man.’ A Mercer Man is a leader in their community, accountable, dependable, have the ability to adapt to adverse situations, and someone who will give their all for the betterment of others,” Kithcart said.
Football means a lot to Kithcart. From his pre-game ritual of listening to R&B to physically dominating the man in front of him, he loves the game, his coaches, and his teammates.
The game is not everything to Kithcart and his teammates though. To them, the Mercer community is a big part of why they push themselves in practice every day, and why they lay it all on the line every Saturday.
“We would like to thank all the students, faculty and staff for all their support throughout the school year. You all don’t know how much it means for us to see you all support us not only around campus but on the field as well.” Kithcart said.
Football season is already underway for Kithcart and the Mercer Bears. Kithcart recorded two tackles in the Bears’ dominant 49-27 win at Western Carolina to open the season and is looking forward to continuing to help his team as the season continues.