Trip report: Jake Merrill

Lots of kids from the state of Washington want to play for the Huskies. One player in particular who has bled Purple and Gold his whole life is Gig Harbor S Jake Merrill. Merrill along with five other recruits visited Montlake this weekend and was able to catch up with the enforcer from south Puget Sound and he talked about his visit and what Husky fans have to look forward to.

"I've been up to Seattle a lot," Merrill said. "I've seen the Space Needle before and I've been to a couple of the restaurants where they took us. I've been there a lot before, but it was kind of like re-showing me. It was fun because I had all of the other recruits with me, all of my buddies with me, so I had a blast even though I had done it like eight times."

The Space Needle has been a highlight for some recruits, but some are a little leery of the Seattle monument. One player who commented on the height of the revolving restaurant on top was California LB Matt Houston.

"My buddy Matt Houston said ‘I've never been this high in my life'," Merrill said with a laugh. "Coach (Tim) Lappano said if he didn't commit he was going out to wash the windows."

So did Houston commit?

"I don't know what he's going to do, he has to talk to his mom," Merrill said.

Merrill, who got into town on Friday night spoke with Tyrone Willingham, a man who asked him repeatedly to be patient in his recruitment, and was encouraged by what he heard from his future head coach.

"He said he's very excited for me to come up and play at U-Dub," Merrill said. "He thinks I'm going to make a difference and it's up to me whether or not I can play as a freshman or later. It's your turf. He said ‘if you're good enough you can get on the field, but if you need some more time then you'll get some more time'.

"He was really straight up about that telling me what I need to do to see time possibly."

Seeing how Merrill had already committed, most felt he was there to help recruit the other players in attendance, including Houston, Steve Schilling and Stafon Johnson.

"You don't want to get on (the other recruits) too hard, because it's not about us, it's about football," Merrill said. "We talked to them here and there about it, we weren't in their face about it, but we definitely wanted them to know we would love to have them and be a help for us.

"We told them that they would be awesome to be around and have them look out for us and have great friendships with. I'm always about friendships with most of the guys and so it would be another great thing to have Steve and Stafon because they're both great guys and both great players and it would be a great class if we get both of them."

Merrill's host on his visit was Cody Ellis and the recruits hung out together a lot during their visit, including committed QB Jake Locker.

"Because he got in late Friday night, I saw him Saturday, he and I are pretty good buddy's. I hung out with him most of the trip," Merrill said. "If Matt commits, me, Matt and Jake are all going to room together. We'll get a three person room and room together."

At the end of our conversation with the loquacious Merrill, he added one last little nugget that will make Husky fans very happy.

"Just look forward to the class of 2006 because we're going to help bring Washington back," Merrill said emphatically.

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