Florida has been handing out offers to underclassmen left-and-right the last few weeks including one to 2016 offensive lineman Richard Merritt (6-5, 320, Washington DC Archbishop Carroll) who heard the news from his coach but later confirmed with the Gators.
“Coach [Brian] White was by my school last week and he told my coach that Florida was going to offer me so my coach told me that,” Merritt said. “I’ve talked to Florida a few times now because I can call them but they can’t call me. I talked to Coach White, though, and he was telling me some things about the school and some of the basics of the offer.”
One thing that Florida has going for them is Merritt’s former teammate is freshman cornerback Jalen Tabor and White says that Merritt can play early likes his friend Tabor.
“Coach White said that I could definitely fit into the program at Florida and that I could play as a true freshman if I came down there with the right mindset,” Merritt said. “My former teammate Jalen Tabor is probably going to play as a true freshman so that shows a lot. I like Florida a lot because of that.”
Tabor and Merritt only had the opportunity to play together for two years but the two have become good friends according to the lineman.
“Jalen and I are pretty close because we played two years together in high school,” Merritt said. “We hung out on weekends and after the games. We got pretty close and built a good friendship. Jalen tells me he wants me at Florida with him.”
Besides having Tabor at Florida Merritt does know a few more things about the Gators, including how well Florida prepares you in the classroom.
“I like that Florida is in the SEC because it’s always been a dream of mine to play in the SEC,” Merritt said. “I used to watch Florida a lot and I know they won a couple of BCS championships. I know that they send players to the league like Jelani Jenkins, Joe Haden and some other DMV [D.C] kids. I know that academics are good because Jalen has told me that.”
This summer Merrrit and a few of his teammates will take a tour of colleges including a tour of Florida where he hopes to stay with Tabor on campus.
“My high school is going to take us on tour this summer to see schools,” Merritt said. “I know we are going to Florida, Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and some other schools down south this summer.”