Former four-star recruit Richard Merritt will transfer to a junior college, 247Sports is reporting.
Merritt was part of Maryland’s Class of 2016 and was the first recruit to choose the Terps under DJ Durkin. The Archbishop Carroll product and Under Armour All-American figured to be a future stalwart on Maryland’s interior offensive line, but after redshirting his first year in College Park, he ultimately couldn’t beat out Sean Christie for the starting left guard spot in 2017.
The redshirt freshman will leave Maryland without having played meaningful snaps on the offensive line.
Merritt was a consensus four-star recruit, and one of the biggest recruits (literally and figuratively) Durkin brought to College Park in his relatively short tenure. since he’s going the junior college route, he won’t have to sit out next year and can transfer back to the FBS level also without having to sit out again.
With senior left tackle Derwin Gray coming back for his final season, senior Damian Prince potentially coming back and Maryland looking like a good landing spot for former Florida State tackle and DeMatha product Brock Ruble, in addition to the solid young depth the Terps have, they can afford a defection like this. Sophomores Jordan McNair, Marcus Minor and Johnny Jordan all saw time last year, and could play significant roles going forward.