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Tennessee adds crystal ball projection for 4-star quarterback Jake Merklinger

Could he be the QB of the 2024 class?

Syndication: Savannah Morning News Kyunnie Shuman for Savannah Morning News / USA TODAY NETWORK

Following an unofficial visit to Knoxville, Tennessee has picked up a crystal ball projection for 4-star quarterback Jake Merklinger. Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports expects the Volunteers to land the 2024 prospect, who ranks 55th overall in the class of 2024. Per 247Sports, Merklinger is the sixth ranked quarterback in the class.

The 6-2, 195 pound prospect attends Calvary Day School in Savannah, Georgia. Merklinger also plays basketball and lacrosse. He’s started at Calvary Day since his freshman year, where he accounted for 23 total touchdowns. Now heading into his senior season, his recruitment is starting to wind down. In recent weeks, Merklinger has taken unofficial looks at Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia and Michigan State.

Tennessee offered Merklinger last summer, then got him on campus for a camp visit. He returned in the fall to take in a game at Neyland Stadium, and has now come back in the spring.

On the field, Merklinger is regarded as an accurate passer with mobility. He threw for over 2,500 yards as a sophomore, tossing 25 touchdowns to eight interceptions. He threw 32 touchdowns against just two interceptions as a junior. Merklinger has been able to put up nearly 700 rushing yards so far in his high school career, scoring 20 times on the ground.

The Volunteers landed 5-star quarterback Nico Iamaleava in the last cycle, but they’ll lose Joe Milton after the 2023 season. The Vols currently only have two scholarship passers on the roster, so some depth is obviously needed looking forward at 2024. It wouldn’t surprise anyone to see Tennessee add a veteran arm for insurance next offseason, either.

Merklinger currently does not have a timeline for a decision.

UPDATE: That was quick — Merklinger will announce his commitment on Thursday at 12:05 p.m. ET, coming directly off of a weekend in Knoxville.