Player Spotlight: Mercer wide receiver makes Sports Center’s top ten highlight reel

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Player Spotlight: Mercer wide receiver makes Sports Center’s top ten highlight reel

Wide Receiver Tucker Cannon watches Mercer face off against Austin Peay in between plays.

Wide Receiver Tucker Cannon watches Mercer face off against Austin Peay in between plays.

Marianna Bacallao

Wide Receiver Tucker Cannon watches Mercer face off against Austin Peay in between plays.

Marianna Bacallao

Marianna Bacallao

Wide Receiver Tucker Cannon watches Mercer face off against Austin Peay in between plays.

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Football has been the center of Tucker Cannon’s life since he first stepped onto the field to play his first game in first grade.

“If you would have asked me what I wanted to be when I was eight years old, it was to play in the NFL,” Cannon said. “It was always my dream to play in college and then after.” 

Cannon came to Mercer after not being heavily recruited in his senior year. Mercer coach Mitch Doolittle contacted him in February of his senior year and gave him the opportunity to walk on.

When he walked on the field for his first practice, it was different than he expected it to be. He was called to come to practice in July because the other receiver got injured. He didn’t know any players or coaches and was in the third slot. However, at football camp, everybody gets a chance to show their talent.

“They threw me in and I am looking around with no idea what I am doing,” Cannon said. “I have come a long way from absolutely having no idea to where I am now, it’s funny to look back on.”

Cannon had his season-best of 144 receiving yards against Presbyterian this year. The biggest play, however, was a touchdown pass against Campbell that landed him the number two spot on Sports Center top ten plays.

“Every morning (growing up) I would watch sports center and loved watching top ten,” Cannon said. “Seeing it on Sports Center and on TV was beyond surreal.”

During the game, it’s constant plays since Mercer runs a no-huddle. The players remember and get the plays by signs from those on the sidelines.

“I see the play call and I am just like, ‘let’s go,’” Cannon said. “Once you are in the route, it’s all just muscle memory … once you catch it and you are running, it’s the best feeling.”

However, practices to get to those plays can be grueling. Practices start at 6:30 a.m. and work out more than just the muscles of the players. 

“You just have to be there ready to go,” Cannon said. “Once you are there, you better be there with a 100% effort.” 

Toughness Tuesday and Wednesday are the hardest practices of the week. There are 22 periods lasting five minutes each where the teams are split up to do drills to hone in on the plays for the next game. 

On top of being a student athlete, maintaining a healthy lifestyle along with a busy social life is not easy. Cannon said that he has to make sure he gets plenty of sleep along with a healthy diet. 

The athletics department provides a team dinner on Friday nights. Eating well prevents cramping and makes sure players have plenty of energy to play well. Cannon works towards this all season to perform at his best.

“If you give your 100 percent and know what you are doing, you may not win, and that goes with any sport,” Cannon said. “I am going to run the right route on every assignment with no MAs.”

The Bears will face off in their last home game of the season against Wofford and currently hold a 4-5 record.

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