Jake Merklinger, a top-100 prospect in the Class of 2024, announced his commitment to Tennessee on Thursday afternoon. Getting a verbal pledge over the likes of Georgia, Michigan State and North Carolina, the Volunteers have added the No. 97 overall prospect and 10th-ranked quarterback, according to 247Sports.
The 6-foot-3 starter from Calvary Day School in Savannah, Georgia, accounted for a whopping 95 touchdowns in three years. 247Sports' Andrew Ivins described the newest member of Tennessee's '24 class as an "athletic quarterback prospect with a multi-sport background that happens to be one of the more experienced signal callers in the 2024 cycle." More from Ivins:
Not only has posted a 29-9 record as a starter heading into his senior season, but is also closing in on 700 live pass attempts. Has operated primarily out of a single-back spread attack on Friday nights and shown plenty of command in the huddle. Mobile and quick enough to turn a scramble into a chunk play, but looks more times than not to win from the pocket.
No stranger to RPOs and is likely going to find the most success on Saturdays in a balanced offensive scheme that wants its quarterback to function almost like a point guard. Overall, should be viewed as someone that could eventually win games on Saturdays.
Merklinger is the sixth player in the Class of 2024 to commit to the Volunteers, who rise to No. 6 in the 247Sports team recruiting rankings. That class is ranked third among teams in the SEC behind No. 1 Georgia and No. 2 LSU.
A star on the lacrosse field and basketball court as well, Merklinger chose the Volunteers at an interesting time. Nico Iamaleava, the No. 2 overall prospect in the previous recruiting cycle, signed with the Volunteers and enrolled early to participate in spring practice.