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Colorado inks 2023 NLL Entry Draft Selection AJ Mercurio to One-Year Agreement

DENVER – The Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League (NLL) today announced the organization signed defenseman AJ Mercurio to a one-year contract agreement, set to begin during the upcoming 2024-25 campaign.

Originally drafted by Colorado in the fifth round (81st overall) of the 2023 NLL Entry Draft, the Denver University product will now have a chance to compete just miles away from where he spent the last five springs as a long-pole defensive midfielder.

Recognized as an USILA All-America Honorable Mention in 2024, alongside being named to USA Lacrosse’s All-America Third Team, he started in all 17 games for the Pioneers during his final collegiate campaign. Racking up a career-high nine points (6g, 3a), 29 ground balls and 19 caused turnovers, he was a menace as a lock-up defender while growing his willingness to green light an opportunity in the O-zone.

Completing his five-year career with 17 points (13g, 4a), 93 ground balls and 53 caused turnovers (which now ranks fourth all-time in DU’s D1 history books), he could very much step into a big role for Colorado this fall should he continue to put his wheels and disciplined approach on display come training camp this November.

Legally blind in one eye after battling cancer as a child, the Reno, Nevada talent has been known to out-work and out-grind teammates and opponents alike, ever-evident as he’s able to hustle alongside the quickest of forwards while staying physical and competitive against any sort of personnel thrown his way on the defensive end.

With the 2024 PLL Draft consisting of just four rounds and 32 picks in total, Mercurio wasn’t drafted this spring, but was quickly signed by the Philadelphia Waterdogs squad following the talent-selecting showdown.

At 6-3, 230 lbs., it’s easy to see why both Colorado and the Waterdogs have interest in the big-bodied, right-handed defender. That size, and his immediate opportunity to learn the pro game fresh out of college should very much help him transition all that he learns from the summer slate into his first NLL camp this fall.

While he hasn’t drawn into the lineup quite yet, Philadelphia is just three games into its 2024 campaign. And with the squad off to an 0-3 start, dropping both of its homecoming games this past weekend via dramatic, overtime finishes, there’s a chance the youngster gets a shot to prove his place sooner than later.

Even if he stays on the practice roster for a majority of his rookie PLL season, regularly interacting with Mammoth teammates Dillon Ward, Connor Kelly, Matt Brandau, he’s competing with and against some of the world’s top talents, which will only help his odds of making Colorado’s opening night roster in 2024-25.

Mammoth fans can stay tuned to and Colorado Mammoth social media throughout the summer stretch as the team continues to craft its roster for the upcoming 2024-25 NLL campaign. And with the 2024 NLL Entry Draft quickly approaching this fall, there’s plenty of reasons to stay in-tune with the burgundy and black squad!

Colorado Mammoth Pro Lacrosse Team