Early favorites, no early decision

St. Louis running back is collecting suitors and has a top three, but is not in a hurry to choose

Thomas Merriweather, a class of 2007 tailback prospect at St. Louis' Hazelwood East High School, is already proving to be a popular individual among college recruiters.

Merriweather had a breakout season as a junior last fall, rushing for 1,421 yards and 25 touchdowns. He averaged more than eight yards per carry and was named first-team All-Metro by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Early in the recruiting season, Merriweather already boasts three scholarship offers: Nebraska, Indiana and Missouri. In a telephone interview Sunday, Merriweather said that Nebraska, Wisconsin and Iowa are his early favorites.

"I know that Nebraska and Wisconsin are a little bit of running schools and Iowa's like a balanced school," Merriweather explained. "I like the coaches up there too. They seemed pretty nice."

Merriweather has already taken junior day trips to Iowa, Missouri, Indiana and Wisconsin and is getting a pretty good feel for each of the programs recruiting him. But he does not plan to make an early decision.

"I think I'm just going to try to wait it out," Merriweather said. "I'm not really trying to hurry up."

What is he looking for in the school he selects?

"Just to see what school I… feel like they can improve their athletes," Merriweather said.

Merriweather first played varsity football at Hazelwood East as a sophomore, and become the school's primary rusher midway through the season. He became a local prep star last season.

Merriweather stands 5-foot-10 ½, 190 pounds and reported a 4.5-second 40-yard dash.

In a somewhat ironic slip of the tongue, when asked who was recruiting him for Wisconsin, Merriweather replied: "Kevin Cosgrove." Cosgrove is the defensive coordinator at Nebraska, and a former UW defensive coordinator. He is, obviously, recruiting Merriweather for Nebraska. Merriweather corrected himself and said that Henry Mason, UW's wide receivers coach, is recruiting him for the Badgers.

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