Signing Day a Benchmark for Mercer Football
MACON, Ga. – Since joining the Mercer athletic department as head football coach on July 1, 2011, Bobby Lamb targeted a day exactly seven months away. On Wednesday, the national football signing day, Lamb began to see the fruits of his labor as his office fax machine lit up with commitments from athletes around the state.
“We’re excited about the guys that we have on the board,” Lamb said. “We took the approach of finding guys with character, who can be leaders and fit the mold of being a true student athlete.”
Due to NCAA regulations on non-scholarship athletes, Lamb is not allowed to comment on specific players until they have been officially admitted to school and placed a deposit with the university.
To find these athletes, Lamb divided both the state of Georgia and city of Atlanta into three parts. Lamb, assistant coach Jeff Farrington and former assistant coach Carroll McCray each took ownership of two sections of real estate and hit the ground to corral Mercer’s first wave of football players.
“We mass-recruited the state,” Lamb said. “There was interest immediately because the academic reputation is there across the state. Once people knew we were starting a program and saw the plan for our facility, they wanted to visit.”
Lamb identifies a key component to earning commitments from players were the campus visits on Saturdays throughout the fall. Upon arrival in Macon, potential student-athletes met with professors, the athletic administration, and financial aid office representatives all while enjoying the energy of a Saturday filled with on-campus sporting events.
“We have a lot to be proud of here on this campus from both an academic and athletic standpoint,” Lamb said. “We put a lot of time and energy into those official visits, and it worked out well.”
Faced with the task of filling out the roster, Lamb insists he will spend the next two weeks hosting visits while also conducting interviews to help fill out the remainder of his staff. With a rough goal of signing 50 players this year, Lamb is well on his way to meeting his quota.
On February 17-18, Lamb has teamed up with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to host the first annual Coaches’ Clinic on campus.
The team also has plans of hosting a student-body tryout toward the end of March. Season tickets for Mercer’s inaugural season are set to go on sale this spring.