Purdue secured a commitment from one of their primary 2024 targets with Jackson, TN native Jaheim Merriweather making his announcement Friday afternoon. The 6’2, 200lb running back became a focal point for Head Coach Ryan Walters and running backs coach Lamar Conard and decided to commit after his visit recently to campus to gauge how he would fit into the Boilermaker program’s new vision and trajectory. Merriweather is a 4 star athlete according to On3 and a consensus 3 star on all other services (247, ESPN, Rivals). He also held offers from Louisville, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Michigan, Michigan State, Pitt, Mississippi St., Virginia Tech, Duke, and Kansas.
HOME @Coach_Walters @CoachConard @PennySmith_ @NCEC_Recruiting@BallHawkU @NatlPlaymkrsAca— jaheimmcm (@jaheimmcm2) April 28, 2023
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Merriweather spoke about how the facilities and his comfort with the coaches led him to feeling comfortable to commit to Purdue. Jaheim stated ‘Coach Conard and I are really close and everybody always has good energy,’ and he reiterated that he will be playing running back at Purdue. Jaheim in another interview stated how he felt about the program by saying, ‘I knew it was the right spot for me as soon as I got on campus. The coaches had great energy. The players were cool. All the hype was real and it just felt right.’ He also shared a message to Purdue fans: ‘Tell the fans, I’m coming to put on a show!’
Overview & Comparison:
Jaheim Merriweather is a supremely gifted athlete who shows great vision, burst, and physicality from the running back position. At 6’2 and 200lb’s, he has an effortless stride to his running and shows the ability to break into the open and run away from defenders or break arm tackles for yards after contact. He is not a back who has a lot of elusiveness and moves to get into the open field but plants his foot in the ground after an initial read and looks to get vertical into the second or third level of the defense. Shows a powerful leg drive that makes it difficult for tackles above the waist to bring him difficult and continues to drive through tackles attempts. Will need to improve running between the tackles in college as he shows an affinity to bump runs outside to use his superior speed in high school to gain the edge. Also played defensive back and returned kicks.
Compares well to former Purdue running back Jerod Void in terms of his overall ability as a running back. Not an overwhelmingly physical back who uses a punishing running style but more of a strider who can get outside of defensive containment and run away from opponents.
You can follow Jaheim on Twitter at @jaheimmcm2 and Instagram at jaheimmcm to follow his senior season and summer camps.