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### LB Dawson Merritt Reveals Top 10 College Choices

Overland Park (Kan.) Blue Valley linebacker has garnered more than twenty offers, but following extensive visits during the fall, a couple in January, and one in March, the four-star recruit has narrowed down his choices to 10 schools.

Among the schools that have made the cut are [School A], [School B], [School C], [School D], [School E], [School F], [School G], [School H], [School I], and [School J]. Currently ranked as the No. 86 prospect in the [specific ranking], he is aiming to make a decision later this summer.

“I am not looking to rush the process, but I hope to make my commitment before the start of my first game,” Merritt shared with On3. “I plan to embark on some spring visits, followed by official visits in the summer, with the goal of finalizing my decision between July and early September.”

Before reaching a decision, Merritt’s upcoming schedule includes a series of visits. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound linebacker has a packed March and April ahead. Having already visited Missouri on March 6, he is set to visit Ole Miss on March 21, followed by Alabama on March 23 later this month. Subsequently, he will be heading to Oklahoma on April 8 and Nebraska on April 13.

Each visit holds significance for Merritt as he aims to gather crucial insights. “While phone conversations are valuable and I have established strong connections with coaches, these spring visits are pivotal for me. They provide an opportunity to understand the coaching staff, witness their coaching techniques firsthand, and gain a deeper understanding of their approach. This hands-on experience is invaluable, and I am eagerly looking forward to exploring these diverse schools on my list,” Merritt emphasized.

Spring Visits to Influence Official Visits Selection

With his top 10 schools finalized based on relationships, Merritt is now focusing on refining his official visit plans for the summer.

“Building strong relationships played a key role in selecting my top 10 schools,” Merritt explained. “This factor will continue to be crucial for me moving forward. Consistent communication with these schools, coupled with the belief that I can thrive athletically, are paramount to me.”

“I have already scheduled official visits with Missouri on June 7, Nebraska on June 14, and Oklahoma on June 21. As I embark on these spring visits, I will solidify more arrangements. My aim is to undertake four or five official visits before making my final decision.”

This leaves approximately two to three spots open for official visits, which Merritt intends to finalize later this spring.

“I am still deliberating on the remaining official visits. These upcoming spring visits will be instrumental in my decision-making process. I will be evaluating various aspects such as the city environment, academic offerings, coaching staff dynamics, among others. With existing relationships in place, the on-campus visits this spring will provide me with valuable insights,” Merritt elaborated.

Nebraska and Oklahoma Among Official Visit Destinations

Missouri: Reflecting on his visit to Missouri, Merritt expressed, “The sense of family at Missouri was palpable. Despite being one of the few recruits present, I was treated like family, underscoring the value they place on me. The experience was enjoyable for me and my mother. I have developed strong bonds with Coach DJ Smith and Maurey Bland.”

Nebraska: Merritt highlighted his positive relationships with the coaching staff at Nebraska. “I have established solid connections with Coach [Name] and Coach [Name]. I resonate with Coach [Name]’s vision for Nebraska and look forward to exploring Lincoln further during my upcoming visits.”

Oklahoma: Sharing his thoughts on Oklahoma, Merritt mentioned, “I have frequent conversations with Coach Miguel Chavis and Coach Brent Venables, both of whom I hold in high regard. Coach Chavis’s high-energy persona resonates with me, and I admire his coaching style. As for Coach Venables, I am aligned with his strategic vision for Oklahoma’s future success. The prospect of competing against top-tier opponents following Oklahoma’s move to the SEC is particularly enticing.”

Intrigue Surrounding Alabama

While Merritt is yet to visit Tuscaloosa, he expressed his enthusiasm for the upcoming trip and his rapport with the new head coach at Alabama.

“I am eagerly anticipating my visit to Alabama,” Merritt revealed. “Coach [Name] was among the early coaches to show interest in me, dating back to my initial offers. I have maintained a dialogue with Coach [Name], and I hold him in high regard for his proven track record of success.”

Following his appointment as the new linebackers coach, [Coach Name] has also engaged with Merritt, earning praise from the linebacker target for being a “great guy” with whom he enjoys conversing.