Mervyn Fernandez - Wide Receiver - 1982-86, '93 - San Jose State
Mervyn Fernandez spent 5 years with the Lions (1982-1986), during which he was a four time All-Star (82-85), the 1982 Dr. Beattie Martin Western Conference Rookie of the Year, and runner-up as the 1982 Schenley Rookie of the Year. Mervyn is also the only Lion chosen as the league's Most Valuable Player (1985).
Merv was unmatched in his timing and ability to jump and catch in a crowd, and set fear into Defensive Backs throughout the League.
Multi-talented, he could also pass, and when Lui Passaglia was injured, kick. On three occasions he scored four touchdowns in a game : 07/06/84, 10/13/84, and 06/17/85. Through secondary contacts in 1984, Oakland's Al Davis offered the Lions one million dollars to release Merv from his contract, but Merv and the Raiders would have to wait for another day.
Merv was injured for the '86 semi-final against arch-rival Winnipeg. Merv's final season with the B.C. Lions came to an end when Al Davis and The Raiders offered him a $200,000 signing bonus and a base salary $300,000/year to showcase his talent in the NFL- a far cry from 1982's $35,000 contract..
From 1987-91 Merv played with the Raiders then sat out the '92 season. In '88 he led the NFL in average yards per catch- 26.0. In '89 he had 57 receptions for 1069 yards and nine touchdowns, and in so doing, became only the sixth Raider to gain over 1000 pass yards in a season. In '90, he had 52 catches for 839 yards. His Raider totals included 209 catches for 19 touchdowns.
In 1993, GM Eric Tillman re-signed Merv Fernandez with the Lions. Merv returned in 1994 to a team struggling under Danny McManus and Kent Austin. Among other things, the team had many great receivers and preferred to play a short, over the middle game. Against the Shreveport Pirates on August 27 Merv caught two passes for touchdowns and dropped a sure, third six points. His final 1994 game stats were 25 catches for 282 yards.
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