Merrick talks UT visit

We brought Matthew Merrick’s name to your attention last week in The Heard, and with good reason.

He took a three-hour visit to Texas earlier this week where he spent a lot of time with quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson.

“So I had practice in the morning then went down after that,” said Merrick, who goes to school at Irving (Texas) Cistercian Prep. “We went down and met with Coach Watson and I went downstairs to the training room where the coaches offices are. I met a lot of the players and some of the player personnel guys. The QBs were working on signals in the hallway so it was cool to get that insight on how practices run.”

“Then we went out to the field with Coach Watson, visited with him and then they got started on a two and a half hour practice. It was pretty intense and fun to be at.”

Merrick got to spend a lot of time with assistant Riley Dodge and Watson, and came away really impressed with what he saw from those two and UT’s QBs.

“I knew Coach Dodge and Watson personally,” he said. “It was mainly just conversation just building the relationship with those guys. It was pretty simple, nothing important. Just building relationships with those guys.

“All the drills they did we did at camp. I was really impressed with David Ash. He was very solid. It was cool seeing Jerrod Heard as a freshman taking reps. I just shadowed Coach Watson. I learned a lot from him and Coach Dodge. It was good.”

This was Merrick’s fourth time visiting Texas since the summer. He’s also visited for a camp in June, the Quarterback Academy, and “Under the Lights.”

The coaches have already offered him a preferred walk-on spot, which he is thinking about accepting. But he wants to see if he can impress the coaching staff enough his fall to earn a full scholarship, a feat that was made a lot more possible with Kai Locksley’s commitment to Florida State last week.

“I am definitely happier that he didn’t go to Texas,” Merrick said. “But from my point of view I can only control what I can control. It’s still a long way away from signing day. So anything can happen.”

The 6-foot-4, 190-pound signal caller got a late jump on his recruitment because he was so focused on basketball (has played for the notorious AAU team, the Texas Titans, since he was in third grade). Otherwise, he’d have a lot more offers than the ones he has, which includes Colorado State, Nevada, and Colgate.

What Merrick does have going in his favor is that Texas is well aware of who he is and his abilities. He just has to prove it over the course of a season now.

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