Brentwood standout Walker Merrill was one of Tennessee’s biggest recruits at a skill position, as the wide receiver showed incredible speed, field vision and shiftiness at the high school level.
Now, Merrill is making a name for himself on Rocky Top, and not just with his talent. His work ethic has also earned plenty of praise from the Vols’ coaching staff, especially Josh Heupel.
During media availability after Tennessee’s scrimmage on Saturday, Heupel commented on Merrill’s progression and how far that could take him at the college level.
“Walker has done a great job,” Heupel said. “He plays extremely hard. He is smart, competitive, knows where he needs to be. As much as anything, it matters a great deal to him, and that pushes him and drives him, whether that is in the meeting room or catching extra balls off the Jugs machine during his spare time. Whether that is running extra routes, that is how he approaches everything he does.
“He has urgency; it matters to him, he wants to be great, and he is going to be a special player as his career continues to go on.”
That’s quite a compliment for Merrill, who has obviously built a strong, work-based reputation so far in Knoxville. If that work ethic continues, it will be exciting to see the Brentwood native shine at an SEC level.