Four-Star QB Jake Merklinger commits to Tennessee

Hayes Fawcett03/30/23
Article written by:On3 imageHayes Fawcett



Four-star quarterback Jake Merklinger of Savannah (GA) Calvary Day School announced his commitment to Tennessee Thursday afternoon.

The 6-foot-3, 200 pounder chose the Volunteers over Georgia, North Carolina, and Michigan State.

Merklinger on why he chose Tennessee

“The quarterback development,” Merklinger said. “Along with the people who are developing you. They are fun, genuine guys I can’t wait to be coached by.”

Relationship with Coach Heupel 

“I have an awesome relationship with coach Heupel,” Merklinger said. “He is a great guy, and a very successful coach. He also was a very successful player at the position. Which is good to be coached by someone who has played at a very high level. Coach Heupel is very competitive, that’s what I love about him.”

Joining Tennessee’s competitive QB Room

“One of the main reasons I chose Tennessee was the quarterback room,” Merklinger said. “They are all very good players, but more importantly, they are very tight with each other and have good relationships. I can’t wait to join it and hopefully create some life long friendships.”

The Peach State quarterback joins coach Heupel and the Vols’ Top 10 class in the 2024 team rankings. He is accompanied by Jonathan Echols, JJ Harrell, Kaleb Beasely and others.

Merklinger ranks as the No. 66 player in the On3 Industry Ranking, a weighted average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies. He also tabs in as the No. 7 quarterback and the No. 9 player in the state of Georgia.

Scouting Summary

“Accurate, mobile passer with a strong feel for the game early on in his high school career. Among the more accurate top quarterbacks in the 2024 cycle, completing over 70 percent of his passes as a sophomore. Comfortable navigating the pocket. Sees the field well, finding open receivers while under pressure. Shows the ability to quickly react and escape from pass rushers. Functional mobility both in and out of the pocket is among the best among top 2024 quarterbacks at this juncture. Can pick up chunks of yards with his legs on designed runs and scrambles. Has shown a good arm to this point, but can continue improving his velocity as he gets stronger, in addition to tightening his release. A multi-sport athlete who also plays basketball and lacrosse.”

Jake Merklinger currently has an On3 NIL Valuation of $323K. The On3 NIL Valuation is the industry’s leading index that sets high school and college athletes’ projected annual value (PAV). The NIL valuation does not act as a tracker of the value of NIL deals an athlete has completed to date. It rather signifies an athlete’s value at a certain moment in time.