Football, Sports

Freshman earns Newcomer of the Week

Freshman Wide Receiver #7 Merius Fleming running in for a touchdown against Virgina-Wise at Tucker Stadium. (Photo by Harrison Taylor)

Freshman wide receiver Metrius Fleming earned his second Ohio Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week award, andhonorable mention forSTATS FCS National Freshman of the Week after the Virginia-Wise game.


Fleming ended the game with 161 all-purpose yards, including a 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to help Tech defeat Virginia-Wise 31-14.


“At the end of the day, it feels good that a true freshman can stand out,” Fleming said.


The Georgia native said he came to Tech so he could make a difference in the football program.


“They recruited me just to make a difference. One of my goals was to stand out and help the team in any way I can,” Fleming said.


Fleming said he wants to work hard not only for himself, but also to help his teammates earn a winning record. It has been 13 years since Tech has been 3-1 to start a season.


Fleming said he decided to become a leader when his team was losing during the first quarter against Virginia-Wise.


“I felt like the team lost a little confidence, and I felt like I needed to step up and lead,” Fleming said.


During that same quarter, Fleming returned a kickoff 91 yards for the 13th longest scoring play in the history of Tech football.


Former wide receiver John Deathridge also had a 91-yard interception return against East Tennessee State in 1975. In 2016, Dontez Byrd scored a 100-yard touchdown, so did Dickie Fulton in 1973.


Fleming said he plans to play in the NFL, but first he wants to break records at Tech.


“I plan on making it to the league, but the goals that I have here at Tech is to break Dontez Byrd receiving records,” Fleming said.


Records show Byrd finished his Tech football career in 2018 with 1,936 yards. Fleming has accumulated 528 yards total so far this semester.


Golden Eagles travel to Eastern Illinois University on Saturday to take on the 0-3 Panthers.