football Edit

BREAKING: Vols land pledge from Walker Merrill, WR details his decision

Brentwood, Tennessee wide receiver Walker Merrill has enjoyed the recruiting process thoroughly, but on Tuesday, he was ready for that part of his football life to be put behind him.

Announcing in an exclusive one on one interview with Rivals.com, Merrill picked Tennessee over Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.

"I knew over spring break," Merrill told Volquest before revealing his decision. "I had a lot of time with my family and I got to focus on my decision. I've known for the last week or two. They need help at receiver as they have lost Jauan and Marquez so I had a conversation with coach Martin about being able to come in and strap up and I think I'll be able to come in and compete and impact them."

Merrill showcases plenty of athleticism with incredible balance in traffic. He makes the tough catches and has solid speed. What does he think is his best attribute?

"I think I'm a good route runner," Merrill said. "A lot of people probably don't expect that out of me, but I think that is something that stands out. I feel like I bring a lot to the table, but I think I can improve in all areas. It's why I'm always working."

So what made Tennessee the right pick? Well it was several factors, but one thing that stood out was his relationship with wide receivers coach Tee Martin.

"It played a pretty big role," Merrill said. "He's been recruiting me for a good while, but this past year is when it got serous with us. We have been in contact twice a week so we catch up all the time.

"Coach Martin is more than just football with him. He's a great man overall. I feel like if I had any problems outside of football he would be there."

Merrill showcases athleticism and is a student of the game.
Merrill showcases athleticism and is a student of the game. (Rivals.com)

He visited Tennessee in early march before the COVID-19 crisis shut down campuses across the country. During that visit, he and his family had a chance to sit down with both Martin and head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

"I think he is a great coach," Merrill said of Pruitt. "Watching how Tennessee has been in the past and how in the last year he had a great winning streak. I just think he is a good coach."

Now that Walker has put on the Tennessee hat, this stage of his recruitment is over. He will work hard to help recruit others to Tennessee, but he will cherish this part of his life.

"A lot of people that I know that have been through this are always like I want this to be over," Merrill said. "I really enjoyed the whole process. Now that it is coming to an end, I'm sad because it only happens once. So sad, but also excited about my future at Tennessee."

Merrill joins Alabama wide receiver Jordan Mosley as the second wideout in the 2021 class for Tennessee.

Rivals.com ranks Merrill as a 3-star wide receiver in the class of 2021.