Liberty picked up its 2nd commitment on Tuesday when JUCO defensive tackle Brian Merritt committed to the Flames, joining offensive lineman Harrison Hayes as the first two pledges in the Class of 2021. Merritt says it was an easy decision.

“I already had my mind made up where I was going to go,” Merritt said of his decision to commit yesterday. “It was a no-brainer.”

Merritt attended Colquitt County High School in Moultrie, Georgia where he was a 3-star rated prospect by all the major recruiting services. He had a number of offers out of high school, including Liberty, FAU, Georgia State, MTSU, Pitt, South Alabama, West Virginia, Tulane, and UAB.

Just prior to signing day in February 2019, Merritt announced a final two of Liberty and FAU, ultimately committing to the Owls and Lane Kiffin.

When Merritt was unable to qualify due to his ACT scores, he instead went the JUCO route, enrolling at Gulf Coast Community College. As a freshman in 2019, he played in 12 games, recording 39 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and 5 sacks.

Since going JUCO, he’s picked up offers from Troy, South Alabama, UTSA, and Houston, and it was Liberty who stuck by him the entire time.

“Coach Aldirdge, we’ve been cool since high school,” Merritt said of Liberty’s defensive line coach. “If coaches don’t stop recruiting you after you commit to another school…after I committed to FAU, Liberty was still trying to recruit me.”

Merritt says he chose Liberty because “it’s a good program.” He says he can fit in Liberty’s defense perfectly.

“I do what I do,” he said. “I’m a beast in that middle, put me at the 3 or nose, I’m going to show you.”

Since Liberty recruited him in high school, he has visited campus, doing so before going JUCO. He’s expected to complete school in December and enroll at Liberty in January.

He had a departing message for Liberty’s fans:

“Let’s get it. Let’s go to another bowl game.”