The pipeline of Golden Panther's to the NFL continues as former FIU defensive back Junior Mertile signed as an undrafted free agent with New York Giants.
Junior Mertile finished his career with 27 career starts, while appearing in nearly every game the past three seasons. He began his FIU career as a wide receiver and had an immediate impact as a freshman, finishing third on the team in receptions. Made the transition to cornerback as a sophomore in 2010 and was in the starter's rotation ever since. He led the team in interceptions in 2010.
2012 (Redshirt Senior): Appeared in all 12 games during his final campaign, while starting four at cornerback…started against Akron, WKU, South Alabama and FAU…finished his career with 27 career starts…finished the season with 16 tackles, including nine solo stops…also had three pass break-ups…began the season with four tackles at Duke (9/1)…had another four tackle effort, all solo, against WKU (10/27)…had three stops in the rivalry win at FAU (11/16).
Below is Mertile's Bio on FIU Sports:
2011 (Redshirt Junior): Played in all 13 games, recording five starts...five starts came in consecutive games from UCF (9/17) through Arkansas State (10/18)...had 27 tackles, including 21 solo stops...had one tackle for loss...posted four tackles (all solo) in the season-opener vs. North Texas (9/1)...had another four tackle performance vs. UCF (9/17)...had a season-high five tackles (all solo) vs. Louisiana (9/24)...had a 22-yard interception return at Arkansas State (10/18)...lone other multiple tackle game came at Middle Tennessee (3 tackles) on 11/26.
2010 (Redshirt Sophomore): Led FIU in interceptions with three, including one returned for touchdown, despite playing just four games on defense…started the year out as a wide receiver and made the transition to cornerback before FIU's game at Louisiana (11/20)…against the Ragin' Cajuns, made one tackle and had his first-career interception, which he returned 26 yards for a score…made four tackles against Arkansas State (11/27)…had a season-best five tackles, and a crucial interception against Middle Tennessee (12/4)…tied his season-high with five tackles, including three unassisted, and had one interception and one tackle for loss against Toledo (12/26) in FIU's Little Caesars Pizza Bowl victory.
2009 (Sophomore): Suffered a season-ending injury and redshirted.
2008 (Freshman): Played in all 12 games...ranked third on the team with 26 receptions, 245 yards and two touchdowns…was on the receiving end of the game winning 38-yard pass from fellow freshman T.Y. Hilton against Arkansas State…caught a season-high four passes on four different occasions…made his collegiate debut at Kansas (8/30), catching two passes for 14 yards…vs. USF (9/20) caught two passes for 22 yards…at Toledo (9/27) had one reception for five yards…at North Texas (10/4) hauled in one pass for 11 yards…vs. Middle Tennessee (10/11) had four receptions for 41 yards...at Troy (10/18) caught three passes for 10 yards and his first collegiate touchdown…at FAU (11/29) caught four passes for 44 yards…in the season finale against Western Kentucky (12/6) caught four passes for a season-best 62 yards.
North Miami: Miami Herald First-Team All-County pick as an athlete...Florida Sports Writers Association Third-Team All-State...selected as team captain during his senior season...played in the Nike Dade vs. Broward All-Star Game...timed at 4.5 in the 40...can play multiple positions on offense and in the return game...recorded 65 tackles and two interceptions on defense and 761 rushing yards with eight touchdowns on offense as a senior...also recruited by Kent State and Akron.
Personal: Born October 26, 1989...son of Tresmette Mertile...A Sports Management major.