Vols Seek Delaware Twins

Call it doubling your pleasure, making a twin killing or getting two for the price of one, but know Tennessee's pursuit of Jamal and Jamil Merrell has nothing to do with the novelty of signing twins and everything to do with securing wins.

To that end the Merrell twins of Hodgson Vo-Tech High School in Newark, Del., offer two essential services — catching passes and catching passers. Jamal Merrell is a 6-foot-5, 196-pound wide receiver with 4.60 speed and the toughness to catch passes under pressure. He set a state record in 2007 with 16 touchdown catches. Jamil Merrell checks in at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, and set a state record in 2007 for sacks with 17.

Those type of diverse skill sets will attracting a lot of team willing to offer both brothers and there appears to be a good chance they will be a package deal.

"Jamil has offers from North Carolina State, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Rutgers and West Virginia," Hodgson Vo-Tech head coach Frank Moffet told Scout.com analyst Matt Alkire. "Now, Jamal has offers from Rutgers, West Virginia, Tennessee and Pittsburgh."

As word leaks out about the twins more schools are lining up to make their case.

"As for strong interest I can tell you right now that I just got off the phone with a coach from Florida State and they like both of them a lot," Moffet explained. "The coach told me they normally don't recruit much in Delaware, but they really think both of these kids can play. I really consider them high on their chart."

Tennessee hasn't recruited Delaware often either. In fact the only Delawarean scholarship football player listed among UT letterman is Vando Davis of Wilmington who played for the Vols in 1986, 1987 and 1998.

Adding a second and third player from the "First State" will be a challenge but at least there's no home state favorite to beat for these athletic siblings.

"Connecticut, Florida State and Penn State have been the three schools showing the most interest as well," Moffet informed. "Coach John Donovan from Maryland has really been showing a lot of interest too, however they have not offered either kid. I also just spoke with Paul Williams from Temple and will be sending him tape, so I think when they see the film they'll like them a lot. They get letters from Colorado, Virginia, Illinois, Michigan State as well."

According to Moffett, the attention is well deserved as the brothers impressive talents are augmented by an outstanding work ethic.

"They also both have great skill sets with outstanding demeanors," he added. "The thing I like about them is that they play with a lot of intensity and have a lot of heart. They're at practice on time and practice how they play. Jamal played strong safety for us last year and he's the type of kid who would rather light someone up then get an interception. I had to tell him to tune it down actually which you don't like to do, but Jamil also caused four of my scout team kids concussions last year because of the level he plays at in practice. They're students of the game, they're pretty good basketball players and have great size and speed. One thing as a lineman that I love about Jamil too is that he has one of those nonstop motors and with his athletic ability it makes him really tough to stop."

Jamil played tight end in addition to his duties at defensive end. He could play either position in college but has a knack for pressuring quarterbacks that can't be ignored. Although Jamal proved himself a capable defender last season his future is a big target. You could Jamal is a quarterback's best friend and Jamil is a QB's worst nightmare.

Plans for the brothers to take visits throughout the spring and summer with the aim of reducing their list of finalists to two before the start of their senior campaign. We'll keep you posted on further developments on this front.


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