NORTH ANDOVER, MA – Two more Merrimack seniors will be heading off to the professional ranks once NFL mini camps begin next week. Quarterback James Suozzo (Everett, Mass.) and defensive end Tony Johnson (Lynn, Mass.) have both received mini camp invitations from NFL teams, Suozzo from the New York Giants and Johnson from the Baltimore Ravens.
Suozzo and Johnson follow fellow senior Shawn Loiseau (Shrewsbury, Mass.) into the NFL, giving the Merrimack football program three players that have made the NFL ranks in the history of the program, all coming this season.
The most decorated senior class in history of the Warriors football program will leave North Andover after breaking records on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Suozzo was the first ever Northeast-10 Conference Most Valuable Player in school history while Johnson became the first Warrior to be named Northeast-10 Conference Defensive Lineman of the Year, twice.
Three time member of the Northeast-10 All-Conference team and 2009 Northeast-10 Most Valuable Player, Suozzo finished off his great Merrimack career ranking in the top two in many categories for a career including first in passing yards for a career (8,559), second in pass completions (646), attempts (1,250), and touchdowns (69). Suozzo also ranks first in four season categories including completions (194), attempts (360), yards (2,638) and touchdowns (24).
"James has been our offensive leader for four seasons and broke or came close to breaking nearly every quarterback record at Merrimack," said head coach John Perry.
Johnson leaves as the programs all-time leader in sacks with 35 and was twice named as an All-American. Johnson also became the first Warrior in history to receive the first team All-Conference nod on four occasions. He led the conference in sacks each of his four seasons including recording a school record 11.5 sacks as a freshman.
"Tony was a great player for us all four years but he was an even better person," said Perry. "His senior class helped lay the foundation for the Merrimack football program for years to come and I know he will be successful in his future endeavors."
The Merrimack Warriors will open up their 2012 schedule on Saturday, September 1 as they will travel to new Haven for a showdown with the defending Northeast-10 Conference champions at 1:00 p.m.