Sean Merrill, during his senior season of high school ball, was one of the most highly recruited players in the nation. After a fierce recruiting battle, Sean chose LSU.
Once he got to LSU he got a little homesick, as many freshmen do. Then, he started losing weight and wound up weighing 245. Because of his size, LSU redshirted him his first year to help him gain weight.
This past year he played a little, but decided after the season was over that he wanted to move on, so he transferred to Gulf Coast Community College in Mississippi.
According to Sean, there are no hard feelings between he and LSU. It was just a situation that didn't work out.
"I didn't feel comfortable there," Sean said of his two years at LSU. "I have nothing bad to say about LSU. It just wasn't the right fit for me."
As to why he chose Gulf Coast CC, he had several good reasons.
"I could have gone anywhere because I wasn't put on (GCCC) protected list," said Sean, who will have two years to play two on the D-I level after he plays at GCCC this coming season. "Two of my best friends played for (GCCC head) Coach Campbell and they loved him. And, it's right up the road from my house. It takes me 15 minutes to get home."
Now that he is back on the recruiting radar screen, schools have started taking notice of him.
"I have an offer from Southern Miss," said Sean. "My coach, from what I have heard, has said all the schools are coming by and asking about me. I think a lot of the coaches are waiting to see why I left (LSU). I think they probably want to look into that first."
Although he only has one offer that he knows of, he's not worried about recruiting. He's a veteran of it from his first go around and knows schools will start showing interest again.
"It's not a huge concern for me," said Sean. "I'm a lot more mature about the situation this time. I know what coaches will tell me and know what is true and not true. I know the recruiting process a lot better. I understand what the coaches want and understand what I need."
He mentioned that he understands his needs better. What exactly are those needs?
"I want a play for a head coach who will be a player's coach, a coach that will talk to the players and hang out with the players," said Sean. "A coach that will be upbeat and friendly to his players. That is what I would really, really like to experience."
While he knows what he is looking for in a college, will distance be a factor, as well?
"Definitely, I really don't even want to go outside of the state," said Sean. "It would take a lot for me to go out of state. I really want to stay inside the state, so I will probably end up playing for a Mississippi school, but I won't rule out any school."
Since the personality of the head coach will, very likely, be the biggest factor in his decision, what does he know about the three in-state schools' coaches?
"I have a friend that kicks for Southern," said Sean. "He says he really enjoys the coach. That is a big turn on for me. That's what I like about Southern. I know everybody seems to like Coach Croom at (Mississippi) State and think he is going to turn it around. That is pretty neat and would be cool to experience if he could do that. Ole Miss' coach, who came from USC, is supposed to be one of the best D-Line coaches in the nation. That is a positive."
Keep it right here to see who winds up winnning what appears to be a three-team, in-state battle for this very talented defensive lineman.
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Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing email@example.com.