football

Merrick impressed with Bama, UF

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Class of 2015 three-star offensive tackle Jalen Merrick of New Smyrna Beach has a list of top schools that includes Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, Miami and Florida State. He's visited all those schools so far this summer.
While the 6-foot-5, 295-pound Merrick said there's no clear favorite from the nearly 30 offers he's received, the Gators are clearly a team that stands out. He'll be there again this week for Friday Night Lights.
"Every time I go to The Swamp it's a good experience because they were my first unofficial visit back during spring practice," Merrick said. "It kicked things off for me and I've been comparing every other school I've been going to that experience, so it's kind of a platform.
"I like coach Muschamp and the staff."
While his Gators visit set the bar, the Crimson Tide may have raised it.
"Alabama was my favorite visit," he said. "The football facilities are basically like being in football heaven. They've got everything you need to succeed on and off the field there. I like (strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran) a lot because he knew what he was doing. He's a very energetic guy and I feel like we clicked. The same with (offensive line coach Mario Cristobal). I know him well."
Merrick said sometime after Friday Night Lights and before the end of the summer, he'll release his official top five. In between that time he said he may also visit Ohio State.
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