Merrill lays the hammer down

One of the top players in the Magnolia State for 2003 is D'Iberville (Miss.) defensive end Sean Merrill (6-4, 285, 4.8).<br><br> He had his focus on two schools for most of the recruiting process but he called LSU defensive coordinator Will Muschamp on Tuesday to let him know he wanted to be a Tiger.

"I realized that was where I wanted to go," Merrill told Tiger Rag. "I had been leaning there for a while so I figured I would lay the hammer down tonight. I called coach Muschamp and he almost got in a wreck. He was screaming and yelling. He was pretty happy."

Merrill chose the Tigers over Ole Miss and Alabama with the Rebels coming in a close second.

"The visit to Oxford is what made me think about it a lot more," said Merrill. "I had a lot of fun on my visit and the coaching staff was cool but I liked it too much at LSU. There is nothing like a Saturday night in Tiger Stadium with 91,000 fans."

Sonny's View: The LSU coaching staff is very high on Merrill and it thinks he has a huge upside. Muschamp recruited him as a defensive end but he could end up moving inside if the Tigers land some of the quicker and more athletic defensive ends left on the board.

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