The last commitment Tom Herman and the Longhorns received was from was Austin High’s three-star quarterback Charles Wright back on August 22. Now, more than a month later, Texas lands its 18th commit in the class and it comes in the form of Strake Jesuit’s, Max Merril.
Merill, via the 247Sports Composite, is a three-star offensive tackle. He ranks as the 108th tackle in the 2021 class and the 195th player overall in the state of Texas.
The Houston native held offers from Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Indiana, Louisville, and Purdue among others. Two days ago, the crystal balls started rolling in for the Longhorns and today Merril made it official.
Merril is the third offensive lineman in the Texas 2021 class joining three-star center Michael Myslinksi and four-tackle Hayden Conner. The Longhorns have been been doing everything they can to make up for the loss of the Brockermeyer twins to Alabama. This helps immensely in filling in the holes on the offensive line.
Name: Max Merril
Position: Offensive Tackle
High School: Strake Jesuit
City, State: Houston, TX
Three Best Traits
Getting to the Edge – In his film, Merril is great at getting to the edge. He has a great first step allowing him to gain leverage on edge rushers at the high school level. He’s also quick enough to bully edge rushers out of a play entirely, opening up huge holes to the outside for running backs.
Run Blocking – Strake Jesuit last year averaged nearly 250 yards on the ground per contest. Their team as a total ran the ball nearly 500 times last season. Merril is elite when it comes to run blocking either between the tackles or to the outside. Keaontay Ingram, Roschon Johnson, and company are going to love Merril’s presence.
Size – At 6’4 and 275 pounds, Merril has good size to succeed at the next level. He could improve his frame and add another 10-15 pounds of solid muscle, but where he’s at is solid enough to be efficient in Big-12 play.
Areas for Improvement
Pass Blocking – Strake Jesuit loved to run the ball last year. In contrast, they didn’t pass much. Quarterback William Dickason in 12 games via Maxpreps only dropped back 176 times, which is only 14 times a game. Ehlinger and the Texas offense love to sling it. In order to make it in Big-12 play, Merril is going to have to get a lot more reps in on pass blocking. He’s solid now, just needs more practice at it.
Right Tackle Reps – Merril played all of his junior season at left tackle. When Texas goes back to throw, they need a left tackle who they can depend on to keep the quarterback upright. That man may be Merril but it’s still unclear if he can be that guy on a consistent basis on passing down. On run plays, no problem. Merril is your guy. But just in case, he needs to get more practice at right tackle.
Merril is a big pick up for the Longhorns’ offensive line. He started at left tackle his whole junior year and led Strake Jesuit to a 10-3 record and a third-round appearance in the Texas 6A D2 Playoffs. Merril is elite at run blocking and has good size and speed to be efficient for Texas and their offense. He’s solid at pass blocking but just needs more reps in that area to truly be a powerful force for the Longhorns.
After losing out on the Brockermeyers, Texas has earned commitments from Michael Myslinski, who effectively has taken James’s spot and now Max Merril who will effectively be taking Tommy’s spot. Myslinski and Merril will be a solid duo to team up with Hayden Conner as they’re both under-the-radar prospects who offer a lot of upside for Texas. Merril becomes the 18th hard commit for the class of 2021 which currently sits as a top-20 class via 247Sports.
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