Merritt Has UCLA Among Leaders

Oct. 5 -- Richard Merritt has a decision date in mind, but the 6-5, 325-pound Washington, D.C., offensive lineman is still sorting out his official visit schedule...

Richard Merritt made some trips during the summer but he is still trying to figure out his official visit schedule, and there will not be much time to fit in five of them before he announces.

Washington (D.C.) Archbishop Carroll coach Robert Harris said Merritt, a four-star offensive lineman, has Virginia Tech, UCLA and Arizona high on his list and Ohio State, Michigan, Maryland, Florida State, and Alabama under consideration as well.

"He said he wants to make his announcement at the Under Armor game," Harris said. "It’s kind of hard when you see all the kids come before you and not want to do the same thing. It’s kind of fun, putting the hats on the table and picking up the hat they are actually going to wear.

"He has not set up an (official) visits yet."

 Merritt, who is 6-foot-5, 325 pounds, would bring versatility to a program.

"Some schools see Rich as a tackle, but some also see him as a guard," Harris said. "I think that is going to play a role in where he goes, and how he gets on the field."

Harris said schools have not gone in-depth on where Merritt would fit into the offensive line equation at their particular schools, and schools like Arizona and UCLA are trying to get him on campus so both can give a better presentation of what they offer athletically and aademically.

During the summer, Merritt visited Florida State, Virginia Tech, Maryland and North Carolina.If Alabama pushes hard, the Crimson Tide could become a big player since Merritt's former coach at Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate, Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, works in Alabama's football program.

Getting a visit in before mid to late November will prove difficult since Archbishop Carroll (4-0) only has one more Friday game (Oct. 9). The reguarl season ends Nov. 7, and every other game is being played on a Saturday, and Harris said Merritt's true focus is on the field, and not recruiting.

"I think Richard has just continued to progress," Harris said. "He’s concentrated on maintaining his weight, and doing what he needs to do in the weight room. I think he’s really focused on his strength so he’s ready to go in (and play) at the next level. His pad level is great. That was one of the things he worked on in camp."

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