Last week, Walker Merrill announced his top seven schools and said that an announcement would be “coming soon.” That announcement came on Tuesday, and it was good news for Tennessee.
The 6-foot-1, 176-pound wide receiver who plays for Brentwood in middle Tennessee announced on Twitter on Tuesday that he is committing to the Vols. He chose UT over his other top teams of LSU, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Duke, and Wake Forest.
— Walker Merrill (@Walker_Merrill1) March 31, 2020
According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Merrill is the No. 371 overall prospect, No. 61 receiver, and No. 11 recruit in the state of Tennessee. He’s the No. 3 wideout in the state per the composite rankings, and the regular 247Sports rankings have him just outside of four-star range, placing him No. 6 overall in the state and ranking him first among wide receivers in the state of Tennessee.
Merrill has been on Tennessee’s radar for a while, as UT’s coaching staff extended a scholarship offer to him almost a year ago in early April of 2019. He’s since taken a couple trips over to Knoxville to see the Vols, making an unofficial visit to campus when Tennessee played South Carolina in late October and again visiting for a Junior Day event in mid-January of this year.
Merrill is very hard to take down one-on-one, and he makes defenders miss time and time again and is adept at breaking tackles. His route-running has developed a lot, and he’s getting stronger on the technical side of things. Merrill won’t absolutely blow away defenders with his speed, but he’s not slow, either. He has a good enough burst to get by defenders and uses his physicality to do the rest. He’s a smooth receiver with a lot of good traits and room to grow.
As a junior, Merrill caught 62 passes for 568 yards and also returned a kick-off four a score as Brentwood made it to the Class 6A state quarterfinals.
Tennessee now has nine players committed to them in their 2021 class, and Merrill is the second wideout to commit to the Vols. He joins four-star Alabama receiver Jordan Mosley as projected wide receivers in UT’s 2021 class, and Merrill is the second in-state recruit to commit to the Vols in the 2021 class. The other in-state product is running back/athlete Elijah Howard.