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Vacaville Christian junior defensive lineman Zack Mercado’s profile continues to build.
Mercado, a star early on for the Falcons, recently picked up his first offer from La Verne, a Division III program in Southern California. It was a moment Mercado dreamed of for years.
“Pure joy,” Mercado said. “It was just like a sigh of relief.”
He visited La Verne before the COVID-19 pandemic and was impressed with the overall landscape of the school.
“I just like the community,” Mercado said. “Before COVID, I went on a trip down there and I visited the campus. It was a really nice campus, and I just like the area.”
Other schools have reached out to Mercado, who said he’s been hearing from Nevada, Northern Colorado, the University of San Diego and a couple of other schools.
All he wants is to find the right home.
“Just looking for whatever I fit in, whatever I can do,” Mercado said.
As a sophomore at Vacaville Christian, Mercado quickly emerged into one of the top players in the area, registering 119 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and three forced fumbles in the Falcons’ run to a Sac-Joaquin Section semifinals appearance.
Although Mercado’s junior season was canceled due to the league not playing this year, he made the most of every opportunity thrown his way in other facets, including strong efforts on the club football scene and at numerous showcases – topped off with the KO Bros Showcase on March 21 in Fremont.
But Mercado wants to keep growing.
“They boosted my confidence obviously, but at the same time I need to keep a level head and continue working to get better,” Mercado said.
Over these next few months, Mercado aims to improve his game even more.
“For myself, I just want to improve on my tackles, more tackles for loss, obviously more sacks and just another deep run,” Mercado said.
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