Former Northern Michigan defensive back Tavion McCarthy announced his commitment to Mercer on Thursday afternoon. McCarthy played three seasons for the Wildcats, but announced his intentions to enter the transfer portal on December 9 as a graduate transfer.
110% Committed To Mercer! ✅ UNDEFINED BUT NEVER DEFEATED pic.twitter.com/hNVIuOLqdA
— Tavion McCarthy🇯🇲 (@thtman_tae) January 27, 2023
McCarthy recorded 145 total tackles, 6 interceptions, and 29 pass breakups over his three seasons for the Wildcats. He was a second team GLIAC All-Conference selection this season with 57 total tackles, 4 interceptions, and 12 pass breakups. His four interceptions and 12 pass breakups ranked second in the conference for the season.
Tavion McCarthy spoke with Zach McKinnell from The Bluebloods about his decision to transfer to Mercer.
“What separates Mercer from other school is the culture,” said McCarthy about what separated Mercer from other programs. “Mercer football is a family, a unit, and a powerhouse that I can be apart of to win a national championship. I love the coaching staff and how they believed in me since the day I entered the portal. I can’t wait to pay them back in return on that field.”
The Mercer defense ranked among the top defenses in the SoCon last season. The Bears ranked first in the conference in pass defense efficiency after forcing 17 interceptions and only allowing 12 passing touchdowns.
“Fitting into their system will be a smooth transition,” said McCarthy about his transition into the Mercer defensive system. “I believe I can play wherever they need me to play. I’m extremely disciplined and will do whatever it takes to ensure I’m productive on that field wherever they put me.”
“Coach Taylor and Coach Cole are my guys. They believed in me from day one. I’m just blessed to have met hardworking and genuine guys like them. They are people that truly care about their athletes and want to see them develop into successful men. I can’t wait to be on the field and be blessed with the opportunities that they give me to be the greatest I can be.”
McCarthy was one of the best defensive backs at the Division-II level and will be looking to take that next step for the Bears this season. He spoke about his game and why he carries an underdog mentality into every game.
“I’m an instinctual player. When I see the ball I don’t hesitate… I just go,” said McCarthy. “I love playing defensive back because it gives me opportunities to make important plays in the air and create explosive plays. When you watch my tape you will see I am true football player. I love to hit and I love to run all day. I also love make plays on the ball with a little bit of swag and tenacity to it. When you watch me, you see an underdog that cares about the art of football and I always bring that to the table.”
Mercer opens the 2023 season at home in Five Star Stadium on August 26 against North Alabama.