Kirk Merritt topped the University of Oregon’s wish list for the incoming class of 2015 for over the past two months.

“The one guy I’m trying to get right now, and I know I’ve said it a lot, is Kirk Merritt,” U.S. Army All-American quarterback Travis Waller said. “That’s the final element to this recruiting class, I think.”

Merritt won the Nike SPARQ national championship as the nation’s top performer in a series of athletic drills. Tailored for a spread offense, his two finalists were Texas A&M and Oregon entering Monday evening’s announcement.

The 5-foot-11, 203-pound prospect chose Oregon in a ceremony in his hometown of Destrehan, Louisiana. From the recruiting program, the Ducks claimed three of the top four all-purpose backs in the country.

Merritt is viewed as a likely slot receiver and return man in the De’Anthony Thomas mold. ESPN considers him the 146th-best recruit in the country.

Despite not making the top 100 prospects list, the multipurpose playmaker received offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, UCLA and many more.

The final SPARQ rating is based off of a number of events including the 40-yard dash, shuttle run, kneeling powerball toss and vertical leap. Height and weight are also factored into the final score.

Merritt felt great about the achievement.

“The year before I was just working on vertical, the 40, my shuttle,” he said. “I’d like to thank my trainer, my coaches for helping me be able to do all that. It’s a humbling experience, that recognition, but it felt good.”

Oregon earned Merritt’s first college visit for the game against Stanford, when the coaching staff built a strong bond with him.

“I really loved it there,” he said. “I watched YouTube videos of the facilities. I really love the coaches. The coaches, I trust them about what position I can play.”

For Oregon, Merritt’s commitment represents victory as the coaching staff worked hard to win over the prospective athlete.

More information on which recruits signed with Oregon can be found here.


Katrina Aman is an aspiring journalist who desires to be a person of positive influence. Particularly passionate about poverty alleviation and civil rights, she hopes her writing takes her where she can improve lives.