"I just got off the phone with UCLA, and their running backs coach (Kennedy Polamalu) loves my highlight film," the junior said. "They said I would fit great in their offense at both wide receiver and running back.
"They want to build the relationship and also get me on the phone with other coaches as the process continues. They also were watching my highlight tape as I was on the phone so I think an offer is coming soon."
Merritt spent a portion of last weekend at LSU. He was told by head coach Les Miles that an offer will be forthcoming after summer camp. The Tigers, however, already hold commitments from a pair of running backs -- David Ducre and Nicholas Brossette -- and a spot is reserved for Catholic-Baton Rouge four-star Derrius Guice.
Notre Dame is the most recent offer for Merritt, who is scheduled to visit Texas A&M next. He lined up exclusively at wide receiver during his junior season but could spend time at running back as a senior.
Destrehan loses quarterback Donovan Isom (Utah signee) and will be forced to break in a green newcomer at the position. That fact could result in the Wildcats relying more on the run in 2014. Running back Will Matthews (5-9, 205) will return for his senior campaign, as will Merritt and three-star wide receiver Alfred Smith (Utah commit).
The Wildcats reached the Class 5A semifinals in 2013, losing to eventual state champion Acadiana on the road. 5A is the largest enrollment class in Louisiana.