One of my favorite television commercials is the NCAA ad spot that graphs a montage of student athletes, followed by the tag line "Most NCAA athletes go pro in something other than sports." There couldn't be a more fitting introduction to Alex Mercier, former University of Washington wide receiver.
Mercier has become a professional, most definitely, but it's not the NFL who came knocking. For Alex, it was the record labels.
Alex Mercier—University of Washington Wide Receiver/Singer & Songwriter
GG: Tell us about your college experience? What is your favorite Husky memory?
AM: "My College experience was crazy. I started out at the U. of Oregon as a walk-on receiver. There is nothing like 12 days straight of double days! I spent two good years there and played in a few games (Sun Bowl was one of them) as a redshirt freshman, but decided to try something new. I packed up to Pasadena and played JC ball for a year.
"That was a trip. All kinds of folks come from all over the map to make it as a football player. It really gives you a perspective of what football means to a lot of people. I met some of the craziest people I have ever met in Juco! It was a fun year, caught a bunch of balls and got some offers. In the end I always wanted to play for the Huskies, my hometown team. So there I went.
"I showed up at the same time as Coach Willingham. The whole program was changing. By spring was getting a lot of attention from coaches and press…things were looking good…Was playing really good football...even started the HUSKY NATION Project.
"Everything was perfect until my legs started giving out. Was one of the hardest things in my life that I’ve experienced. Too work so hard and have it all right in front of you, and then not being able to grab it…very strange feeling. People would ask how much longer till you're back?...I wanted to say a few days, but when I would test it… it just wouldn’t go.
"My big senior season was reduced to just a few games. I think it was the universe's way of saying, 'It’s time to move on to what you were really meant to do' I got a whole lot of life out of college football. I think I saw more than most…two Division I teams and SoCal Juco ball. It taught me so much."
GG: When did you know you wanted to become a musician?
AM: "When I was 11, I was sleeping over at a friend's house and at 3am a concert of Stevie Ray Vaughn was being broadcast on public TV. It blew my mind. It was instant…that was what I had to be about. "
GG: Did you perform in front of your teammates?
AM: "I found myself performing in front of teammates often…Everyone knew I was the music guy. If there was a mic around…I was usually on it."
GG: Did you feel you ever had to keep music a secret from teammates?
AM: "When I was a freshman at Oregon, I didn’t really go to far into it…and then a teammate and I got a song on the local radio…it was a bit surprising to the coaches especially. Within a few days I kinda got the rep… "
GG: Tell us about the U-Dub song you composed?
AM: "The Husky Nation project started out with myself and a few teammates messing around. We thought it would be cool to have a hype song for the upcoming season. It went really well, and the athletes throughout the athletic department really responded to it. I thought this might be a good opportunity to do something cool for Husky fans and try and raise some money for a good cause. So, we ended up putting together an Album….And it sold really well! I think they still play the songs in the Stadium on Saturdays…"
GG: Were your teammates supportive of your music?
AM: "They were really supportive…and curious. Getting on “the mic” is a lot like having the ball in your hands. It’s addicting. My teammates would often ask if they could come by the studio and give it a shot…Sometime it went well…Sometimes, not so much."
GG: What's happening now? New music? Tell us about Alex Mercier today...
AM: "Right now I’m in LA. I just finished recording my first full length record. We’re really excited about it. We’re releasing the first single and video "X's & O's" online next week…you can get info on that at:
GG: What is one thing nobody knows about you?
AM: "I love dogs! I survived in L.A. by taking care of them. They are such honest and loyal creatures. If you earn their respect, it’s amazing what kind of bond you can make…I’m hoping the same goes for FANS!"