Syracuse added their third commitment and third defensive back of the 2007 recruiting season when D'Amon Merkerson out of Passaic (N.J.) St. Mary's committed to the Orange. What made the 6-foot-1, 160-pounder select Syracuse?
"I know the coaches there were recruiting him very well and even Greg Robinson stopped by to talk with me," St. Mary's head coach Michael Sheridan said. "I think D'Amon committed there mostly because he felt very comfortable with the coaches. He also was very impressed with the fact that Syracuse showed confidence in him by being his first scholarship."
A few other things apparently drew Merkerson to the Orangemen.
"I know he was very impressed with the fact that coach Robinson spent a lot of time in the pros," he said. "Coach Robinson immediately told me that D'Amon is a special achiever that he needed to get right after seeing his tape. They also handled the whole recruiting process in a first-class manor by not waiting for other teams to offer. They went after the guy they wanted and I think D'Amon picked up on that."
Sheridan feels a lot of schools missed out on a star prospect.
"Syracuse is getting one of the most talented kids I've ever coached," he stated. "I can't say it better myself, D'Amon is an achiever in the classroom and on the field. In the classroom, he used to be a middle of the road student, but now he's in honors and student government.
"As far as a player, I've dealt with a lot of Division I prospects and one thing I see in all of them is the fact that they will outwork people. D'Amon is no different and he is a special route runner on offense and has great technique. He is also an ideal corner with perfect 6-foot-1 size, long arms and quick feet.
"D'Amon is also a pleasure to coach. He is a kid that goes to summer school to take classes for next year. He is a very coachable kid too that is like a sponge. You tell him something once and he's got it."
The Syracuse coaches are looking at the Garden State prospect on either side of the ball once he gets on campus.
"From what the coaches have told me, they feel he can play receiver or corner there," Sheridan said. "Both position coaches are very interested in him, although he may be more of a defensive player because the last thing Greg Robinson told me before he left was that he thinks at some point D'Amon will be an NFL corner."
Merkerson earned all-league and all-county honors last season for St. Mary's.