Friday, March 31, 2023

MTSU Football Honors, Remembers Brandon Archer After Tragic Drowning


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Story by Megan Cole / Staff Writer

Photo Courtesy of MT Athletic Communications 

Many say they will miss his smile, how friendly he was or his willingness to help anyone who needed it. Family, friend, and teammate, Brandon Archer’s legacy at MTSU lives on.

Archer passed away on Monday, September 2nd in a tragic drowning accident.

The loss is made even more poignant for two other reasons: Archer just graduated one month ago and if he had survived, he would have turned 22-years old the very next day.

According to the Perry County Emergency Management Agency, Archer went canoeing on the Buffalo River with some friends. The group had pulled to the shore to go swimming and when he went under, he never came back up. EMA workers reported Archer’s body was found in nine to 10 feet of water, reporting that he had gotten stuck under a log and tangled in possible debris.

Members of the MTSU football team said that Archer was the type of guy you were lucky to know. In just three years, Archer’s character inspired every one of whom he came in contact.

Head coach Rick Stockstill said that Archer was a great player and an even better person.

“He worked hard and did great in school. He was just a really, really good person and had a bright future ahead of him. He was just a really special young man. I’ll miss his smile.”

Senior safety and team captain, Jovante Moffatt, was a close friend. He said that Archer even texted him the day he died.

“He asked me for tickets for the TSU game this weekend. The last thing he said to me was, “I want to come see #7 in action.” The last thing I said was, “You know I got you. I love you.”

During his time at MTSU, Archer was also a member of Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity and served as a referee for intramurals.

Hundreds of his friends have posted heart-rending messages on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, highlighting some of the best times of Archer’s life and the memories he left behind. It was on social media where many of his friends saw his smile for the last time.

Archer documented the last moments of his life on his Instagram story. The short nine-second video showed him in the rear of a canoe, having fun. He mugged for the camera, saying he was “Driving the boat.”

Less than an hour later his friends frantically called the EMA in Perry County, which is about 100 miles west of Murfreesboro.

Stockstill spoke with Archer’s mother after he found out about her son’s passing.

“She’s in shock. I told her there was really nothing I could say, other than I’m praying for you,” Stockstill said. “I told her to be proud of who he was and what he did. Be proud of the son you raised.”

Many of his friends wished him a happy birthday through social media the day after he passed, giving their condolences and prayers to his family.

“When you think of the whole birthday situation, you think, ‘This was God’s plan,” Moffatt said, who noted his friend’s last Tweet was: “I don’t know what I’m going to do for my birthday.”

Moffatt said the situation “is crazy.”

Going into their second game of the season, Stockstill said that he wants the team to remember the good things about Archer.

“The main thing is just to keep him in your thoughts and prayers and play through his spirit. Don’t go a day without telling somebody you love them. You never know when it is going to be taken away from you.”

The team will wear “BA” decals on their helmets for the TSU game this Saturday in honor of Archer, who otherwise would be in the stands cheering on his team.

“We all cared about him and I’m going to play for him this weekend. This weekend is for Brandon, I’m going to get the job done for him,” Moffatt said.

Scroll through the rest of this story to see tweets in memory of Brandon:

To contact Editor-in-Chief Angele Latham, email

For more news, visit, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter at @Sidelines_News

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