Tennessee football: In-state WR Walker Merrill commits to Vols for 2021

Recruiting momentum for Tennessee football during the coronavirus outbreak continued Tuesday, as a Brentwood, Tenn. wide receiver picked the Volunteers.

Everything being put on hold due to COVID-19 continues to be no issue for Tennessee football on the recruiting trail. One day after receiving a walk-on commitment for 2020 and a three-star commitment in running back Jaylen Wright for 2021, the Vols got another 2021 pickup.

In-state wide receiver Walker Merrill committed to Rocky Top on Tuesday. Coming out of Brentwood High School in Brentwood, Tenn., Merrill chose the Vols over the Ole Miss Rebels and the Vanderbilt Commodores.

A three-star on Rivals, Merrill is the No. 86 ranked player at his position and the No. 15 ranked player within the state. He announced his commitment to Tennessee football via a video that was posted on Rivals’ Twitter account.

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At 6’1″ 175 pounds, Merrill is the ninth overall commitment and the second receiver committed to the Vols for 2021, following four-star Jordan Mosley. Elijah Howard is an athlete who could compete there as well.

Given his size, Merrill is likely to be a slot receiver, but he could grow into a wideout by the time he arrives on campus given the fact that he has another year in high school. So far, he and Howard are the only two players in the class from the state of Tennessee.

After the departures of Jauan Jennings, Marquez Callaway and even Tyler Byrd this past year and due to the fact that Josh Palmer and Brandon Johnson will both be seniors this year along with graduate transfer Velus Jones Jr. ,it’s clear that Jeremy Pruitt wants to built as much depth at receiver as possible for the future. Merrill helps with that. Here is a look at his highlight reel.

As you can see, Merrill has great hands and vision. He can catch the deep ball out of the slot and line up as a wideout or running back to catch passes out in the flat and make plays. That level of versatility could make him a major asset.

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Now, Tennessee football has two, potentially three receivers committed for 2021, and they secured three, potentially five receivers in 2020. With guys like Ramel Keyton, Miles Jones and Deangelo Gibbs all set to be eligible in 2021, Merrill’s commitment shows how much Pruitt has restocked the position. That makes him a major pickup.