Merritt Picks Oregon

Destrehan (La.) ATH Kirk Merritt, one of the nation's most sought-after prospects in 2015, becomes the 22nd verbal commitment for the Oregon Ducks on Monday evening.

Kirk Merritt is an Oregon Duck.

The four-star Destrehan (La.) athlete, and reigning National SPARQ Champion, announced his decision on Monday evening at a local pub in his hometown. He becomes the 22nd verbal commitment for the Ducks with less than two days to go before National Signing Day.

An all-around explosive athlete, Merritt was wanted by several top programs, eventually settling on a top four of Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M and Oregon. He kept his recruitment close to the vest throughout the process, but it was no secret how appealing he was to the Ducks coaching staff and his now-future teammates. Fellow 2015 verbal commits Travis Waller and Taj Griffin made it public knowledge they were recruiting Merritt to join them in Eugene throughout the process.

Listed at 5-foot-11, 203-pounds, Merritt projects to be mainly a slot receiver at the next level, but he has the ability to open up the field as a running back as well with his 4.43 second 40-yard speed.

Everything you need to know about Merritt’s abilities at the high school level you can see in his senior highlights. Whether it’s slipping through gaps to find wide open running lanes as a running back or making routine screen plays a nightmare for the defense as a receiver, it ties back to his breakaway speed.

Even without the ball in his hands, Merritt finds ways to be effective by throwing downfield blocks, in one instance dashing about 80 yards to ensure his teammate wouldn’t get tripped up from behind en route to the end zone.

The Oregon offense should be a great fit for Merritt’s skill set and the coaching staff should have no shortage of uses for him or the other potential skill position playmakers in the class like Malik Lovette, Alex Ofodile or Griffin.

Although Merritt’s commitment may be considered the cherry on top for the Ducks, it may not be their last addition on the offensive side of the ball in 2015. Offensive line targets Semisi Uluave and Darrin Paulo are still up for grabs, with Uluave is set to make a decision on National Signing Day and Paulo set to announce his decision at any time between now and Wednesday.


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