Jalen Merrick has wanted to pull the trigger on his college commitment for some time now. There was talk it was going to happen over the summer. Then the decision would be early next month. Now it appears that it will be some time after the season for this New Smyrna Beach (Fla.) four-star offensive line recruit.
”For now, Jalen is concentrating on his season and will evaluate recruiting after,” said Lance Jenkins, New Smyrna’s coach. “I want him to get through the season first unless he’s 100% sure. That’s my policy here. We are not going to have a guy commit to a school and then take his four or five visits. That will not happen in my program or you will not play in my program. Like I tell our kids, if you are going to get married in February would you allow your fiancée to go on four or five different dates? No way. That will not happen here.”
”Merrick, 6-foot-5, 335-pounds, is a four-star guard. Jenkins says that Merrick still has work to do and believes he can bring versatility to a team.
”I think he can play both tackle and guard,” Jenkins said. “He’s very athletic and moved well to be a guard. But he also sets well to play on the island at tackle. But right now I don’t like the way he’s playing. He’s not had a good training camp and he needs to sharpen up with his fundamentals. He’s got a long way to go and now has that billing to live up to. To be honest, he was playing better last year at this time.”
Merrick has a slew of offers from everyone in the Sunshine State to teams like Alabama and South Carolina. Some think Miami has the inside track. Others believe it’s Florida. He has been to both schools this summer as well as FSU and others.
”He can go pretty much wherever he wants to,” Jenkins said. “He could play for anyone in this state or for South Carolina or Alabama. I expect him to take visits and then figure things out.