New Smyrna Beach (Fla.) offensive line recruit Jalen Merrick burst onto the recruiting scene this spring, as his junior film spread around the major colleges. Then he backed it up in camps over the summer, and his ranking was elevated to four stars by most of the major services.
Merrick visited Florida State over the summer, and wanted to make a return trip for the Clemson game, but his ride situation fell through. He visited Florida for its game against LSU, and Saturday, he was in Tallahassee for FSU's comeback win over No. 5 Notre Dame. He was excited to make the trip, and FSU and its atmosphere did not disappoint.
"It was INCREDIBLE," Merrick messaged at 3 A.M. Sunday morning.
Merrick was impressed by the atmosphere, which was one of the best in the history of Doak Campbell Stadium, and with being inside of the locker room after the game.
There, he found out that offensive line coach Rick Trickett, who missed the game with a medical issue that landed him in the hospital, was going to be OK and could return to the team as early as this week.
"Not being there hurt him the most, [Trickett] told me," Merrick said.
Merrick still has official visits scheduled for Wisconsin and Arkansas, and it's likely he'll be back to Tallahassee, with the Seminoles in a good position in his recruitment.
"FSU is the only place where every time I leave I already want to come right back!" Merrick texted.