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2020 4-star OT Merriweather-Lewis places UM in top 3, will return for Paradise Camp

2020 4-star OT Merriweather-Lewis places UM in top 3, will return for Paradise Camp

Stefan Adams
As the star of Vanguard High’s (FL) offensive line, 2020 4-star OT Miller Merriweather-Lewis has seen his recruitment soar in the past year or so, racking up 17+ offers as an underclassman from top programs such as USC, Michigan, Auburn, and Florida. However, it was his first scholarship that he remembers the most, which just so happened to come from his childhood favorite Miami Hurricanes.

“They were actually the first,” Merriweather-Lewis said of his Miami offer. “I was sitting in the living room and I was playing 2K. My dad walked in and he was like ‘Guess what just happened?’ and I was like ‘What?’, then he said ‘You just got your first offer from Miami.’ I couldn’t help but smile. It was one of the greatest feelings ever especially since it’s my favorite school.”

O-Line coach Stacy Searels has taken the lead in Merriweather-Lewis’ recruitment and has made him feel wanted. Despite the much older talent present at last year’s Paradise Camp, Searels made it a point to get some one-on-one time with Merriweather-Lewis and has started building a strong bond with the sophomore lineman.

“He doesn’t really even try, he just treats me like family mostly,” Merriweather-Lewis said of Searels. “He just tries to bring me in as much as he can. At Paradise Camp, we were actually talking a lot, just sitting around talking about a bunch of stuff. I wasn’t even just football, just about life.”

Speaking of Paradise, Merriweather-Lewis got an upfront and personal view of one of the camp’s most famous moments: Mark Richt’s high-dive plunge. As for the camp itself, meeting one of his personal idols made the trip worth making and more.

“Actually I did see coach Richt jump off the high-dive and not a lot of people know this, but I went right after him and did a cannonball,” Merriweather-Lewis said. “The camp itself was very organized, unlike most camps. It was a good vibe, especially since some of the players and former players were out there coaching us up. Ed Reed and all them were out there and that was one of the greatest things ever for me since Ed Reed was one of my favorite Miami players growing up.”

Will he make the return trip for Paradise this year?

“Oh yeah. Definitely, I’m going to be there,” Merriweather-Lewis said.

Growing up, Merriweather-Lewis’ favorite team was always the Canes, but since he’s been being recruited, the environment of the campus is what has drawn him to Coral Gables even more.

“I was always a fan of Miami. I think since I was 8 maybe and it just grew from there basically. I like the 30-for-30’s too,” Merriweather-Lewis said. "It’s just the environment because when you go down there, it’s Miami, and how could you not love Miami? It has a great feeling being on their campus, like I’m supposed to be there.”

Whatever Miami is doing recruiting Merriweather-Lewis to Coral Gables seems to be working: he is more than comfortable putting the Canes in his early top 3.

“My top 3 is Miami, LSU, and I’d say Georgia,” Merriweather-Lewis said. “I talk to Miami and LSU mainly, when they come through to the school, but I don’t really see Georgia like that as much. Miami came to the spring game last Thursday and they we’re asking me when I was going to come back down.”

The Canes are recruiting the 6’4” 320 pounder at tackle and Merriweather-Lewis feels most comfortable on the outside as well.

“I play pretty much all the positions, but right now my main position is tackle,” Merriweather-Lewis said.” I prefer tackle, I get my chance to work on the outside. When you’re at guard, you’re confined to that little area of the field.”

Recuperating from a knee injury, Merriweather-Lewis took the spring off from football to make sure he can come back completely healthy. Even though he hasn’t been cleared for the rigorous contact on the gridiron, the recovery is going well enough that he’s been playing basketball.

“It’s good right now. I actually didn’t play spring since I wasn’t 100% and I didn’t want to re-injure anything,” Merriweather-Lewis said. “I’ve been playing basketball, but they say it’s about the contact involved for football and the strength isn’t back in it yet. But I’m able to run and jump and all that. When I’m back for fall, it’s going to be something to see.”

In terms of visit plans, Merriweather-Lewis has been off the trail due to recovering from his surgery, but is ready to expand his horizons a bit and see what different campuses have to offer him. He says a Miami visit is in his future as well, as soon as next month.

“Yes sir, that’s all I’m doing this summer. I’m trying to get these trips,” Merriweather-Lewis said. “I haven’t been taking visits lately. My last visit was to Notre Dame and I haven’t really been anywhere since then because of the surgery and I haven’t really been able to get out and go places. Then, I was supposed to go to LSU last weekend but I had a basketball tournament, I couldn’t make it. I’m actually thinking about going up to Oregon too. And if I don’t have another tournament, I’m going to get down to Miami. I’m thinking in the next few weeks, towards the end of June.”

Going into his junior season, Merriweather-Lewis sees great things ahead for both the offensive line and the entire team at Vanguard and anything short of states would be a disappointment.

“Basically our O-Line is still the same. We just lost our center, so they took our left guard from last year and moved him down to center,” Merriweather-Lewis said. “I have absolutely no idea who is going to play left guard but I’m sure we’ll make it work. Winning states is always the goal. Right now, I’m pretty sure we’re one of the best in Marion County.”

Another Vanguard player with UM ties made news recently, when 5-star WR Leonard Manuel decommitted from the Canes’ 2020 class. Merriweather-Lewis says what he’ll do next is a mystery.

“I haven’t talked to him as much lately to be honest,” Merriweather-Lewis said of Manuel. “He has a lot of options, so I’m sure he’ll be fine.”

For now, it seems like Merriweather-Lewis won’t be another one of those early commit-decommitment candidates and will let the process breathe for a while before coming to a decision.

“Senior year. It’ll most likely be after the season,” Merriweather-Lewis said on his timetable. “I won’t be signing early either. The way our school is, they have a bunch of players all sit in the cafeteria and sign all together on Signing Day in February. Actually, I may just keep it to myself and tell ya’ll when it happens.”

When he’s ready to make a college announcement, the main deciding factor won’t have much to do with football according to Merriweather-Lewis.

“Basically, it’s about life after college,” said Merriweather-Lewis said. “Say I go into the pro’s, who can I rely on if I needed something? If I was in college and got hurt, and I can’t play football anymore, then it’s all about education. Who has the best education?”

 

Comments (12)

His actual name is Merriweather-Lewis? He's gonna be in great game shape what with all that expeditioning to the Pacific and exploring the Hudson and all...
 
His actual name is Merriweather-Lewis? He's gonna be in great game shape what with all that expeditioning to the Pacific and exploring the Hudson and all...

Womp wooooooooomp
 
I was thinking the same thing - 3 last names. Doesn't matter what his names are as long as he can play left tackle.
He’s not a tackle on the next level and I think he’s overrated
 
He has hit the iron in the last year and has moved his bench up from 225 to 300, still has a way to go but he is on the road.
 
He’s not a tackle on the next level and I think he’s overrated

No offense, but if you're going to make a statement like that, you need to say what makes you feel that way. Do you know him or have you seen him play a lot in games or at some camp?

You may very well be correct in the end, but obviously he's generating interest from a lot of name programs. Fill us in, I'm curious.
 
No offense, but if you're going to make a statement like that, you need to say what makes you feel that way. Do you know him or have you seen him play a lot in games or at some camp?

You may very well be correct in the end, but obviously he's generating interest from a lot of name programs. Fill us in, I'm curious.
Yes I’ve seen him play in quite a number of games. He reminds me of Trevor Darling and I believe that’s a pretty comparison. I say he’s a guard because I don’t think he moves well in space and I’m suspect of his arm length. Btw no offense taken but I didn’t say anything harsh about the kid.
 

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