Florida hosted a lot of prospects on campus this Saturday for the first session of Will Muschamp’s football camp.
One of those prospects that was on campus was offensive lineman Jalen Merrick (6-5, 317, New Smyrna Beach, FL High) who enjoyed working with offensive line coach Mike Summers. Merrick has only played football for a little over a year, so the opportunity to work with Summers as well as several offensive linemen from Florida was a great learning experience for him.
“It was a great visit, I got better today,” Merrick said. “It was great working with Coach Summers. He’s a real calm coach and pushes you to get better. He really pushed me to my limits today by trying to help me get better. If you mess up he doesn’t bash you he just helps you fix it and get better.”
Summers personality and laid back approach to coaching was something that Merrick likes and he says that’s something you normally don’t see from an offensive line coach.
“Most offensive lineman coaches are always yelling and getting on you,” Merrick said. “Coach Summers isn’t like that and I think I respond better to his personality. He really is just laid back.”
This was Merrick’s second trip to Gainesville and he says that the people at Florida are what makes him want to keep coming back.
“I really like the coaches at Florida and the direction that Florida is going under Coach Muschamp,” Merrick said. “I really just like the coaches, the facilities and the players that Florida has right now. Everyone is real welcoming. I’ll be back here a lot during my recruitment.”
During the camp Merrick had the opportunity to talk with fellow offensive lineman Abdul Bello about his recruitment.
“I talked a lot to Abdul Bello about where he plans to visit this summer and stuff,” Merrick said. “I was getting his outlook on things and just kind of getting feel on what his recruiting was like.”
Bello and Merrick both heard recruting pitches from the coaching staff, but it wasn’t just the staff that was recruiting today. Florida offensive lineman commit Tyler Jordan was in the ear of just about every big prospect at camp, including Merrick.
“Tyler was just trying to recruit everyone out here,” Merrick said. “He was talking to me, Kendrick Norton and Bello all at the same time about why he committed to Florida. He was like you should be a Gator because it’s the place to be.”
Merrick says after the visit that he can see why Jordan committed to Florida but he still wants to take a few more visits this summer.
“After I look at everything Florida is a great place to be,” Merrick said. “I’m going to make my decision pretty soon after I go on a couple more visits. I’m going to Georgia, South Carolina, Ohio State and Alabama this summer and hope to make a decision before my senior season.”
The Gators aren’t the clear cut leader according to Merrick but Florida did show him a lot on this most recent visit.
“Florida is in my top category with Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Ohio State,” Merrick said. “Today impressed me a lot by working with the coaches though. Florida is a great place.”
Insiders Take: After I speaking with Merrick several times and also hearing from several sources I believe the Gators are in great shape for Merrick. Merrick really likes offensive line coach Mike Summers.