After a big early start to the 2015 recruiting class, Arkansas picked up its first commit in two months on Sunday and it was a big one both literally and figuratively.
New Smyrna Beach, Fla., offensive lineman Jalen Merrick (6-5, 310), a four-star prospect per Scout.com, chose the Razorbacks over co-finalists Florida State and Florida.
Merrick - who visited Arkansas for its 30-0 win over No. 8 Ole Miss - becomes the Razorbacks’ 19th pledge and a 10th early enrollee, counting a pair of walk ons, and tweeted out his decision.
"I have Officially Commited to the University of Arkansas ???? #WPS #NeverYield," noted Merrick, just minutes after actually arriving in Fayetteville.
Merrick will enroll at Arkansas this week and join a standout group that includes several interior linemen on both sides of the ball.
His tweet got its own tweet from Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman.
"WooPigSooie!!!! What a great day to be a Hog!!," Pittman tweeted.
Merrick is a big pick-up for Arkansas per his Scout.com analysis.
"Merrick is big, physical and very strong," Scout,com states. " Sometimes it appears that smaller defensive linemen bounce right off him as if they ran into a wall. He can be nasty at times and does a nice job of finishing off a play.
"Merrick lines up everywhere, playing both tackle spots as well as guard," Scout.com adds. "He has good footwork although maybe not the lateral quickness to hold up in pass pro on the edge. Merrick projects higher on the inside at guard."
Incoming freshman offensive linemen enrolling at mid-term include Jacksonville, Fla., University Christian Josh Allen (6-3, 305), Carrollton, Texas, Hebron center Zach Rogers (6-3, 300) and Merrick.
The Razorbacks are also adding defensive ends Jeremiah Ledbetter (6-4, 281) of Hutchinson, Kan., Community College and Daytrieon Dean (6-3, 263) of Fort Smith Northside and defensive tackle Hjalte Froholdt (6-5, 290) of Bradenton, Fla., IMG Academy.
The early arrivals also include Charleston quarterback Ty Storey (6-3, 215) and Dumas tight end Will Gragg (6-4, 245) as well as walk on safety Re) , formerly a Pine Bluff standout.
Jalen Merrick was surprised on his official visit when Arkansas head football coach Bret Bielema donned his own Fro.
Arkansas Wins Merrick Sweepstakes
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