Tyler Merriweather became Georgia Tech's sixth commitment, and the third in two days, on June 8th, 2013. He hails from the Demopolis Academy in Demopolis, AL. (This one is found by taking I-20 to its merger with I-59, and then heading down US-43 through Futaw. Population of under 8,000 here, meaning my high school was about half the size of this entire town.) His high school teammate Demetrius Kemp was recruited by Georgia Tech early, and is a 3-star athlete headed to Wake Forest. He stands at 6'3", 230lbs, a great base for growing into a prototypical defensive end. His other listed offers are from Northern Illinois, Western Kentucky, and Louisiana Tech, although he's one that had a lot of schools after him later in the recruiting process.
From Merriweather's film, there is an awful lot to be excited about. The first thing that's immediately obvious to me is how smart of a DE he is. There are a number of clips where he breaks off of a pass rush because he recognizes a screen, and he's plenty comfortable staying at home instead of over-pursuing a play. He has a pretty outstanding awareness of what's happening around him on the field, and it has a major impact on his performance. Merriweather also has a really nice combination of speed and strength that could land him at either SDE or WDE, depending on how he develops and where needs arise. I really like a lot of what I see from him and think he can be a big-time player for Georgia Tech.
Merriweather comes in alongside some other really good DEs, and for a class where that was listed as a need, I'm really pleased with how they addressed it. The others will be addressed as we reach them in the series, but for now Merriweather and Freeman look poised to give each other a real battle in camp. Freeman has the advantage of spring practice, but time will tell how that affects things. One thing is for certain though, and that's the fact that Georgia Tech did a really nice job of addressing the need with this class. I'm pumped for all of the DEs being brought in, and largely for different reasons. But, their combined skills should be really awesome going forward.
Merriweather is rated as a 3-star player by Rivals (5.5) and by the 247Sports Composite (.8282).
Are you as high on Merriweather as I am? Think he's a stud or just kinda average? Is he underrated and prepared to be a difference-maker, or appropriately rated and a career backup?
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