After a very busy recruiting season, the Mercer Bears football team is looking mighty impressive for their inaugural season in the fall of 2013. Much progress has been made on a variety of fronts surrounding the future of the Bears. Head Coach Bobby Lamb was able to grant several insights into where the team is going and where it has already been.
As of National Signing Day, the Mercer Bears had signed 38 individuals to play for the Bears. These 38 were more than happy to play non-scholarship FCS football in 2013 and practice in 2012. An additional 30 more were invited to visit this past weekend, and Coach Lamb expects to have around 50 to 55 commits going into practice next season.
A list of all commits will be published later next month. However, Coach Lamb was very quick to say that the team is strong at several positions. “The position of running back is a surprising talent pool for us. We are especially deep there, and many of those players will be able to also play outside linebacker and safety, making us deeper on both sides of the ball,” Lamb said in front of his recruiting boards, showing a continuing process of recruitment that begins with scouting next year’s class.
As a part of this, he will be holding try-outs for all students who will be able to play in 2013 later this semester. He expects there to be several individuals from the existing student body who will be able to play and compete for a spot on the team. There will be an announcement for a multi-day try-out soon.
When the players get here this fall, they will be able to play and scrimmage on the new field. The synthetic turf is expected to be done by the end of July, and the field house is expected to be constructed by the beginning of September 2012. The Bears will get accustomed to their home field for a full year before actual play begins.
The first tentative season schedule has been put together, and the Bears are looking at up to eight home games in the first season. They will play four inside the conference, and the Bears are looking at adding up to four more nonconference games that will help increase visibility and the experience level.
The uniforms and equipment that Mercer will sport is bound to launch soon, and after the first annual coach’s clinic coming up, the Bears will see their new uniform that will be used in the first season. Along this time period, Coach Lamb is continuing to hire staff and build an impressive team to bring the Bears into their football playing days.
Coach Lamb had much praise for the admissions department and several individuals that were instrumental in bringing such a high number of talented players in. “Tour guides and admissions counselors were very helpful in getting athletes to commit, but Mercer sells itself. This is a beautiful campus, a wonderful atmosphere and a place that prizes academic excellence. All of this, on top of being the first Mercer Bears in 2013 to play football in the modern era, were great selling tools,” Coach Lamb said.
Marketing Director Daniel Tate has been instrumental in selling the Mercer football team to local businesses and the community, making Macon excited about Mercer for something other than a great men’s basketball team. He wants there to be a great experience on game day, which includes tailgating. Currently, Coach Lamb is in talks with the administration about where and what tailgating can consist of for all individuals, including: the community, Greeks and other students.
Finally, Coach Lamb is quite jealous of Bob Hoffman. “I really love Hoffman’s Hooligans. I want there to be a similar experience. I want there to be some rowdy Mercerians behind the visitor’s sideline. I want Lamb’s Lunatics!” Lamb said. With all that is being put into Mercer football, that is a real possibility.