Another former Tennessee Volunteer has found a new home via the transfer portal. Walker Merrill, a former four-star prospect out of Brentwood, Tennessee, signed with Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons officially announced the move on Thursday.
Merrill entered the portal on January 4th, following Tennessee’s win in the Orange Bowl. Josh Heupel rolled with his top three for much of the year at receiver, leaning almost exclusively on Bru McCoy, Cedric Tillman and Jalin Hyatt. When Tillman went down, it was Ramel Keyton filling in. Squirrel White cracked the lineup late in the year, which left Merrill playing only during mop-up duty.
Merrill was productive when called upon, however. Eight receptions ended up going for 116 yards and three touchdowns during his 2022 season. He caught five passes for 52 yards in 2021.
He now lands in Dave Clawson’s high powered offense, where he’ll have a better chance to play going forward. The writing was simply on the wall here for the former in-state prospect. Tennessee went out and added former Oregon receiver Dont’e Thornton earlier this week, giving the Volunteers a bigger body and another downfield threat.
Heupel may have lost Tillman and Hyatt, but as we saw in the Orange Bowl, a McCoy-Squirrel-Keyton core — now complete with Thornton — is a pretty good starting point for 2023.