The message came about a week ago, and since, the Destrehan, La., three-star athlete has kept in touch. Tuesday, their relationship took the next step, as a phone call to Pry led to a Penn State offer, Merritt's 18th.
"I didn't really know if they were going to offer," Merritt said. "I didn't know if they looked into Louisiana prospects, but I'm glad they offered.
"They are a school I would consider. I haven't really watched them that much, but I will look into them a lot now."
Merritt played running back and receiver for Destrehan, though most of his action came at receiver. The junior caught 23 passes for 560 yards and 10 scores in 2013, and also rushed for three touchdowns.
Most schools have yet to decide whether they want to recruit Merritt as a receiver or running back, but he said of the ones that have, it was an even split. Penn State, he added, has not yet made that determination.
With a determination to improve his speed, though, Merritt said his next goal is to establish a relationship with Penn State receivers coach Josh Gattis and Pry.
"I didn't get to talk to the receivers coach, but Coach Pry said I have a unique skill set, and that I could go to the next level as a receiver and could do things as a running backer," Merritt said. "He said he thinks I could compete, and that I have great speed and explosiveness.
"Just knowing that all these coaches are looking at me and offering me a scholarship, and that all my hard work is paying off, is humbling."
As for whether or not distance will play a role in his recruitment, Merritt said it could go either way with offers from around the country and in-state program LSU already in the bag.
"That's my hometown school, and a big offer," he said of the Tigers. "But either way, my parents and my family are still going to have to travel to anywhere I go, especially if they go to away games."