Star DHS receiver wins national championship in skills competition
Destrehan receiver Kirk Merritt has blown away college recruiters at camps this summer, which has led to offers from LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Oregon and Texas A&M.
Merritt recently won the SPARQ national championship at “The Opening,” an invite only camp held at Nike’s headquarters in Oregon that draws the best high school football players from around the country. During the SPARQ assessment, players are judged on their performance in four drills: a vertical leap, shuttle run, kneeling power ball toss and 40-yard dash.
Merritt’s combined ratings in the four events topped a field consisting of future college and NFL stars.
Merritt’s success didn’t surprise Destrehan head coach Stephen Robicheaux.
“He is an unbelievably hard worker,” Robicheaux said. “When he’s working, it’s 110 percent. He takes everything to the limit because he wants to be good and he wants to be the best.”
Merritt, who is currently ranked as a 4-star prospect, ran the 40 in 4.46 seconds in the final heat after earning a spot in the finals with a blazing time of 4.43 seconds. He also finished with a vertical of 43 inches, a shuttle time of 4.03 seconds and a kneeling power ball toss of 43 feet.Merritt gained attention around the state during his junior season at Destrehan last year.
He finished the season with 23 catches for 598 yards and eight touchdowns while also rushing for 78 yards on just four carries.
Robicheaux would be happy if Merritt duplicated that success in the fall, but he said he will attempt to get the ball in the playmaker’s hands more during the upcoming season.
“He made big plays for us last year, but we will try to move him inside more and get the ball in his hands,” Robicheaux said. “We are fortunate that we have a lot of good playmakers around him so that teams won’t be able to just focus on him.”
While winning the SPARQ national championship will bring him even more attention, Robicheaux knows that Merritt won’t let it interfere with his school work.
“He is an honor student and recruiters sometimes can’t get in touch with him because he is studying all the time,” Robicheaux said.
Merritt currently has offers from some of the top college programs across the country including LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Oregon and Texas A&M.
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