Tennessee has hired former UCF running backs coach Matt Merritt to an off-field role as a senior offensive analyst. The news was first reported by John Brice of FootballScoop. VR2 on SI has since confirmEd. Merritt has been expected to join Heupel in Knoxville since he took over at Tennessee.
Merritt marks another key addition to an already well-rounded off-field staff Heupel has assembled.
Merritt was the running backs coach at James Madison prior to making a move to Orlando to join Heupel’s 2021 staff in the same capacity. Below is a look at some of his work at James Madison.
“Matt Merritt was hired on Dec. 20, 2018, as an assistant coach with the James Madison University football program, working primarily with the running backs for the 2019 season.
In his first season, Merritt placed two running backs on the All-CAA Team, with one earning All-America honors. Percy Agyei-Obese was a Third Team HERO Sports All-American and First Team All-CAA selection after rushing for over 1,200 yards and leading the league in rushing touchdowns. Jawon Hamilton was also a Third Team All-CAA honoree.
JMU’s rushing attack ranked 10th nationally and first in the CAA (242.9). Primarily a three- or four-running back rotation, JMU’s backs combined for 3,224 rushing yards and 39 total touchdowns, 35 coming on the ground. Agyei-Obese turned in the seventh-best rushing performance in JMU single-season history with 1,216 yards, to go with 19 rushing scores, which was third in JMU single-season history. Hamilton also neared the 1,000-yard mark, finishing the season with 919 yards on the ground.”