Justus Merz is a large man, standing 6-foot-6, 278-pounds. That’s obvious. But what you don’t realize at first is how athletic he is.
“My biggest strength is my athletic ability. I run a 4.7 40 yard dash. I have a 33 inch vertical, which is not common among other linemen,” Merz said. “Another big strength is my strength. My sophomore year I won the state in power lifting. I have broken most of my schools weightlifting records as a junior.”
Merz played on both sides of the ball, playing 140 snaps a game as a junior and will play less snaps this season with his focus more on the offensive side of the ball.
“I was playing 140 snaps a game, but we had a coaching change and a totally different offensive scheme. I think I will play a lot better with the smash mouth style than the spread. Coaches will play me around 90 snaps a game so I can focus more on the offensive side of the ball,” he continued.
Another improvement for Merz is that he’s added strength to his large frame.
“I have physically got a lot stronger and put on about 40 pounds of lean weight which I think will help a lot. Coaches have told me from my playing at camp it’s night and day from last year. I’m looking forward to having a great season on the offensive line,” he continued.
Merz camped at Missouri State this summer and the coaching staff was impressed with the big lineman’s skills.
“The Missouri State camp went great for me. I did great in testing: 4.8 40-yard dash, 33 inch vertical and 9-1 broad jumping. In the one-on-ones I did good after Coach Coughlin helped me out with a few form technical. All together I was very proud of my performance at the camp,” he continued.
Aside from Missouri State, Merz is in contact with North Dakota State, North Dakota, Washburn, and Kansas State. But Missouri State was impressive to the big Kansan.
“I think Missouri State is a great place. The coaches were really confident and really helped me better myself as a player. The facilities were really nice. Coach Allen seems like a great coach and someone I wouldn’t mind spending four years playing for. I like the school and will definitely heavily consider playing there in the future,” he finished.
Bear Boulevard and Scout.com will keep you updated on Justus Merz.