Liberty secured its second verbal commitment in the recruiting class of 2021 when Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College defensive tackle Brian Merritt announced his intentions on social media Tuesday evening.

The 6-foot, 290-pound Merritt saw playing time in all 12 games as a freshman in the 2019 campaign. He posted 39 tackles (23 solo), 11 tackles for a loss, five sacks and one fumble recovery.

Merritt also had offers from Houston, Troy and Texas-San Antonio, according to the recruiting website 247 Sports.

The interior of the defensive line is a need to be addressed in the upcoming recruiting cycle. Ralfs Rusins and Elijah James, both projected starters for the upcoming season, are seniors, as is Elisha Mitchell. (Mitchell, though, redshirted in 2018.)

William Green and Devonte Lloyd, both expected to receive ample playing time in 2020, are both juniors.

Merritt played at Colquitt County High School in Moultrie, Georgia, and was named to the Georgia Sports Writers Association Class AAAAAAA all-state second team as a senior when he had 60 tackles, 36 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks and 19 quarterback hurries.

Damien Sordelett covers Liberty University athletics and local golf for The News & Advance. Reach him at (434) 385-5550.

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