Top Lineman Richard Merritt Impressed By Virginia Tech

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Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Virginia Tech are among the schools that have offered Archbishop Carroll (Washington, D.C.) junior Richard Merritt, a 6’5”, 345-pound offensive line prospect. Merritt was in Blacksburg last Saturday for Virginia Tech’s Spring Game. How was the experience?

“I like how they play football,” Merritt said of the Hokies. “I got to meet all the coaches. They are good people. I met some of the players. Overall, I like V-Tech. I’ve got to get back down there to see the whole campus, but for right now I like them.”

Virginia Tech has offered Merritt and his Archbishop Carroll teammate, Jauan Williams, who is another top offensive line prospect in the class of 2016. Hokies offensive line coach Stacy Searels has been clear about his interest level in both prospects.

“Coach Searels, I think he really likes me,” said Merritt, who has been told he could play tackle or guard at Tech. “Me and my teammate, Jauan… Coach Searels sees us as big, physical players. He said if I come there and do what I have to do, I have the ability to play as a true freshman. Coach Searels said he likes physical guys. He thinks I’m one of those guys.”

Merritt says there is a “strong possibility” that he makes a return visit to Virginia Tech before he commits (he has no clear decision timetable right now). In addition to Tech, Merritt has already visited Maryland unofficially. This summer, the standout prospect plans to travel to Florida State, Alabama and Auburn.

When decision time comes, what factors will be most important to Merritt?

“Big factors are which schools will prepare me best academically. Football can end any day. Academics are first,” Merritt said. “The second thing is what school will develop me best. And then, if I’m not going to play right away, I at least want a chance to show what I can do early. I don’t want to wait until my senior year to play.”

As he stated at “The Opening” in Washington, D.C., there are no favorites at this point.

“I’m looking at every school,” Merritt said at “The Opening.”

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